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— Prceterita 




Entered  according  to  Act  of  Congress  in  the  year  1892,  by  MARY  COFFIN  JOHNSON, 
in  the  office  of  the  Librarian  of  Congress  at  Washington. 





THE  story  in  this  book  is  not  new;  it  is  but  a  repetition  of  the 
story  told  "  o'er  and  o'er  "  since  man's  existence — "  born,  married,, 

It  is  a  plain  record  of  the  lives  of  a  great  many  noteworthy 
plain  people,  as  well  as  of  a  number  of  men  and  women  who  have 
distinguished  themselves  in  their  relations  to  life. 

The  faults  or  deficiencies  of  the  subjects  are  not  dwelt  upon. 
"It  is  always  fair,"  Henry  Ward  Beecher  used  to  tell  us,  "to 
credit  a  man  at  his  best— let  his  enemies  tell  of  his  worst." 

The  work  contains  many  side  lights  on  topics  relating  to  the 
times  in  which  its  subjects  lived,  and  glances  at  the  early  settlers 
in  the  beginnings  of  many  of  our  States  and  Territories.  Great 
pains  have  been  taken  to  make  the  work  historically  accurate. 

The  fullness  of  the  biographical  sketches  is  a  notable  feature. 
I  much  regret  that  many  individuals  and  families  are  mentioned 
only  in  the  genealogical  line.  This  is  because  our  information 
concerning  them  was  quite  incomplete,  very  few  facts  or  none  at 
all  having  been  contributed.  But  no  amount  of  painstaking  can 
render  a  genealogical  work  perfect.  The  errors,  especially  in 
dates,  are  as  frequently  the  fault  of  the  contributors  as  of  the 

I  have  from  first  to  last  had  in  mind  the  young  people.  There 
is  already  a  whole  generation  of  youths  and  maidens,  whose 
activities  and  influence  belong  to  the  wider  development  of  the 
twentieth  century,  now  growing  up  in  the  remote  new  West  and 
South  under  the  onward  progress  and  changes  of  the  present 
period  ;  they  are  found  in  the  full  tide  of  enterprise  and  eager 
desire  of  the  American  spirit,  near  rapidly  built  railroad  lines, 
new  villages  and  towns,  oil  cities,  natural  gas  discoveries,  elec- 
trical appliances,  mines,  and  quarries.  To  these  the  old  New 
England  Puritan  story  of  their  grandsires  is  quite  unknown  ; 
they  read  latter  day  publications  and  have  scarcely  been  afforded 



a  glimpse  of  the  domestic   portraits  and  life  surroundings  that 
made  their  ancestor  human. 

For  such  this  book  is  written. 

This  work  was  first  projected  by  Greenleaf  W.  Higley  of  New 
York  City,  and  was  first  begun  without  an  idea  of  so  extensive  an 
enterprise  as  it  has  proved;  indeed,  when  undertaken  by  the 
editor  it  was  not  intended  to  go  beyond  arranging,  for  print,  some 
valuable  MSS.  and  scraps  of  traditions  which  Mr.  Higley  had 
interested  himself  to  gather,  he  having  for  some  years  been  far 
from  indifferent  concerning  his  ancestors. 

In  its  earlier  prosecution,  without  the  slightest  expectation  of 
pecuniary  compensation,  he  took  upon  himself  the  entire  expense 
incurred  in  gathering  the  material,  till  on  account  of  failing 
health  and  other  unavoidable  reasons,  he  was  reluctantly  obliged 
to  abandon  the  work. 

To  Judge  Warren  Higley  of  New  York  City  is  due  the  honor 
of  assuming  the  financial  responsibility  of  the  publication  of  the 
book.  From  the  beginning  of  the  undertaking  I  was  the  recipient 
of  his  uniform  kindness,  cheerful  encouragement,  and  practical 
co-operation;  his  due  appreciation  of  the  vast  amount  of  labor 
imposed  upon  me  in  securing  the  facts  taken  from  official  records 
by  extensive  personal  research,  as  well  as  in  handling  the  large 
volume  of  contributed  matter,  and  answering  hundreds  of  letters, 
was  practically  shown  during  the  long  interval  till  its  completion, 
and  justly  deserves  here  to  be  recorded  with  honorable  mention. 

The  pleasant  duty  is  also  mine  of  expressing  grateful  acknowl- 
edgements to  others  who  have  cheerfully  extended  every  facility 
that  could  be  extended,  not  only  from  time  to  time  giving  fresh  im- 
pulse to  the  work,  but  who  have  generously  given  of  their  time  and 
labor  toward  collecting  material  and  obtaining  traces  of  lines  of 
descendants  not  of  their  own.  Among  those  whose  names  in  this 
connection  may  be  justly  associated  with  this  book,  are  Pomeroy 
Higley  of  West  Simsbury,  Conn.,  Albert  C.  Bates  of  East  Granby, 
Conn.,  Henry  W.  Goddard  of  Simsbury,  Conn.,  all  of  whom  reside 
in  the  neighborhood  of  the  old  ancestral  localities;  Thompson  Hig- 
ley of  Windsor,  O.,  William  A.  Higley  of  Windham,  O.,  Miss  Emma 
L.  Higley  of  Middlebury,  Vt.,  and  Milo  H.  Higley  of  Rutland,  O. 

To  mention  some  who  have  lent  important  assistance  in  fur- 
nishing material  in  their  own  lines  of  descent  would  be  to  the 
writer  most  gratifying. 


BROOKLYN,  N.  Y.,  March,  1896. 





II.     A  BIT  OF  HISTORY,     .                        5 





VII.    YOUTH  AND  MARRIAGE  OF  CAPTAIN  JOHN  HIGLEY,       .        .  28 



X.    SIMSBURY,  CONN., 47 

XI.     PUBLIC  LIFE  OF  CAPTAIN  JOHN  HIGLEY,       ....  56 
TIVITIES,         .  63 



XIV.  THE  FIRST  AMERICAN  FAMILY. — JOHN  HIGLEY,  JR.,    .        .  85 

CROFT,         ..        4        ......  gi 

LEY, SR., 99 

XX.    THE  FIRST  AMERICAN  FAMILY. — JOSEPH  HIGLEY,          .        .114 









LEY '    .  144 

MAN,        149 


XXIX.  DESCENDANTS  OF  KATHERINE  HIGLEY  NOBLE,     .        .        .159 


XXXI.  ENSIGN  BREWSTER  HIGLEY,  30,    ......  169 

XXXII.  HANNAH  HIGLEY  ALFORD  PORTER,          .        .        .        .  176 


XXXIV.  WARREN  HIGLEY,  SR.,  AND  HIS  DESCENDANTS,         .        .  199 




XXXIX.  DESCENDANTS  OF  BREWSTER  HIGLEY,  4TH,          .        .        .  267 



XLII.  MICAH  HIGLEY  AND  HIS  DESCENDANTS,           .        .        .  300 




XL VI.  OZIAS  HIGLEY, .  349 



XLIX.  HANNAH  HIGLEY  OWEN  MILLS,            376 

L.  JOHN  BROWN 380 


LII.  JOHN  HIGLEY,  SR., 392 

LIII.  HAYDEN  HIGLEY, '  .        .        .  401 







LX.  JONATHAN  HIGLEY,  SON  OF  SAMUEL,  IST,       .        .        .  474 

LXI.  DESCENDANTS  OF  JONATHAN  HIGLEY,  JR.  (OR  20),       .        .  492 







.     500 






.        .     544 






.     583 


ROSWELL  HIGLEY,       ..... 



.     621 






.     658 









.        .        .        .70? 







WESTWARD,  Ho !    .         .        . Frontispiece 


























LORIN  HIGLEY, '  324 






CLAYTON  W.  HIGLEY, .        .  431 





SIMSBURY,  CONN."), 474 




SARAH  E.  BUELL  HIGLEY,        . 595 


MARY  E.  HIGLEY  McLouo, 596 










If  it  be  pleasant  to  behold  a  fair,  round  timber  tree,  sound  and  perfect,  or  a  fine  old  mansion, 
not  in  decay,  how  much  more  an  old  family  that  has  stood  the  weather  and  the  winds. — LORD 

IN  the  old  church  records  at  Frimley,  Surrey,  England,  is  found 
the  following  entry  : 

"Jonathan  Higley  and  Katherine  Brewster  Married  January 
Ye  3  Anno  Dom,  1647." 

At  a  later  date,  among  the  birth  records  appears  the  announce- 

"John,  Ye  sonne  of  Jonathan  Higley,  borne  Ye  22  of  July. 
Baptized  August  Ye  i2th,  1649." 

No  other  children  of  Jonathan  and  Katherine  Higley  are 
recorded  upon  these  ancient  parchments,  though  tradition  says 
that  John  Higley  had  two  sisters,  whom  he  left  behind  with  his 
mother  when  he  emigrated  to  America. 

Concerning  Jonathan  Higley's  origin  in  England,1  we  have  not 
made  research  beyond  the  Frimley  parish  register,  and  all  that  is 
known  of  him  may  be  briefly  stated. 

His  wife,  Katherine  Brewster,  was  clearly  of  the  ancient 
Brewster  family  of  England,  to  which  belonged  "Elder"  William 
Brewster  of  the  Mayflower  fame.  A  branch  of  the  family  settled 
in  Kent  in  the  time  of  Elizabeth,  where  they  owned  lands  in 
several  parishes  in  1560. 

The  death  of  her  father,  the  Rev.  John  Brewster,  is  entered 
upon  the  parish  records  of  Frimley  as  taking  place  August  14, 
1656,  and  that  of  her  mother,  February  23,  1657.  This  branch 

1  The  task  of  searching  out  the  lineage  of  Jonathan  Higley  in  England,  or  Germany,  is  left  for 
some  descendant  of  another  generation. 


of  the  Brewster  family  were  residents  in  this  parish  from  a  very 
early  date  of  that  century. 

Originally  Frimley  was  a  very  small  hamlet,  surrounded  with 
woods  and  heath  lands,  and  is  said  to  have  been  once  connected 
with  Windsor  Forest  as  a  hunting  ground.  It  lies  in  the  valley, 
with  slight  rising  lands  on  the  side,  about  thirty  miles  from 
London.  The  district  has  the  name  of  having  been,  in  years  gone 
by,  a  wild,  rough  country,  with  few  inhabitants.  The  old  form 
of  the  word  Frimley  was  Frymley.  The  railroad  from  London  to 
Southampton  now  passes  through  the  village,  though  Frimley- 
Green  and  its  old  church  are  a  mile  away.  The  village  is  seven 
miles  from  the  well-known  Aldershot  military  camp. 

The  church  in  which  John  Higley  was  baptized,  when  he  was  an 
infant  three  weeks  old,  and  in  which  the  ancient  records  are 
found  that  give  us  the  earliest  history  we  have  searched,  was  built 
in  1602,  and  the  first  entries  in  the  register  were  in  1594. 

It  was  amid  these  surroundings  that  John  Higley,  the  first 
ancestor  of  the  Higleys  of  America,  was  born  and  nursed.  To 
him  the  lineage  of  all  by  the  name  is  traced. 

From  Church,  Colonial,  State,  and  other  public  records, 
together  with  old  papers,  old  account  books,  MSS.  yellow  and 
seared  by  age,  from  which  copious  extracts  are  taken,  some  of 
which  furnish  statements  supported  only  by  traditionary  evidence, 
but  all  fully  sustained  and  confirmed  by  facts  in  history,  and  con- 
sidered unquestionable,  the  story  of  his  life  is  gathered. 

His  father  died  about  the  year  1664  at  the  age  of  forty,  which 
left  the  care  of  the  family  devolving  upon  the  mother.  By  this 
bereavement  the  practical  energy  and  force  of  character  with 
which  it  is  said  she  was  particularly  gifted,  were  called  out  and 
put  into  exercise. 

Soon  after  the  death  of  his  father,  and  according  to  a  common 
custom  of  those  times,  she  apprenticed  John  to  a  trade,  that  of 
manufacturing  gloves.  The  boy  was  then  fifteen  years  of  age. 
His  master  proved  severe  and  overbearing,  and  John  Higley 
formed  no  attachment  for  him.  The  weekly  tasks  were  hard 
and  heavy,  and  the  lad  was  overworked.  One  Saturday  night,  on 
failure  of  performance  of  a  certain  amount  of  work  that  had  been 
allotted  him,  he  was  promised  a  sound  flogging  to  be  adminis- 
tered on  the  following  Monday  morning.  His  independent 
nature  revolted  at  such  treatment.  It  was  not  that  he  lacked 
industrious  habits  and  close  application,  as  will  be  seen  in  his 


future,  but  possessing  a  strong  sense  of  justice  and  a  courageous 
spirit,  he  could  not  consent  to  be  beaten  for  the  nonfulfillment  of 
an  unreasonable  task. 

He  had  been  apprenticed  for  a  term  of  not  less  than  seven 
years.1  The  law  provided  that  should  the  apprentice  depart  from 
his  service  before  the  expiration  of  his  time,  "he  should  be 
legally  apprehended  on  warrant,"  taken  "before  one  of  His 
Majesty's  justices  of  the  peace,"  and  returned  to  his  master  with 
a  severity  of  punishment  far  greater  than  that  which  he  might 
have  received  for  unfulfilled  tasks.  John  Higley  conceived  the 
idea  of  running  away.  Keeping  his  intentions  profoundly 
a  secret,  not  even  taking  his  mother  into  his  confidence,  it  was 
easy  for  him  to  find  a  way  of  escape;  and  on  the  evening  of  the 
next  day — Sunday,  he  was  aboard  a  trading  vessel,  setting  sail  for 
America.  His  first  night  at  sea  found  him  in  severe  isolation, 
amid  the  solitudes  of  the  great  ocean,  a  stranger  to  all  about  him, 
supported  by  no  friendly  boy  comrade,  and  without  money,  with 
an  uncertain  voyage  of  many  weeks  before  him,  his  destination 
an  unknown  land,  with  no  familiar  roof  upon  its  shores  "  save 
the  sky."  It  was  certainly  a  period  of  unquestionable  trial  to  his 
courageous  heart,  and  well  might  his  spirits  have  relented,  had 
not  the  independence  and  the  excitement  of  a  boundless  life  on 
the  wild  new  shore  toward  which  his  face  was  turned  buoyed  him 
up.  He  could  not  decipher  the  hieroglyphics  in  which  his  future 
was  enwrapped.  However,  despair  and  gloominess  had  no  place 
in  his  natural  temperament,  and  full  of  the  sensibilities  of  youth 
and  hope,  he  sought  his  bunk  and  did  not  dream.  John  Higley 
had  found  a  secure  retreat  from  his  harsh  taskmaster,  the  glove- 
maker,  as  well  as  an  outlet  for  his  eagle  spirit. 

The  captain  of  the  vessel  arranged  to  give  him  his  passage  with 
the  understanding  that  he  was  to  be  sold  upon  the  arrival  of  the 
ship  in  port,  for  at  least  a  sufficient  amount  to  pay  for  his  passage 
across  the  ocean."  It  was  a  period  in  the  history  of  the  colonies 
when  inducements  were  offered  to  emigrants  of  every  description 
to  come  to  this  country.  "There  was  need,  and  great  demand 
for  workmen  and  artisans  of  all  kinds,  and  tillers  of  the  soil  found 
ready  employment  awaiting  them."3 

1  It  is  authoritatively  stated  that  "  No  apprenticeship  to  a  trade  iright  expire  until  the  apprentice 
was  twenty-four  years  of  age." 

4  "  Since  the  reign  of  Queen  Elizabeth,  and  under  James  and  his  successors,  minors  had  been 
granted  to  court  favorites,  or  sold  in  open  market  to  the  highest  bidder." — Extract. 

'  "  At  the  outset  of  American  colonization  one  finds  persons  bound  for  long  terms  before  leaving 


On  the  arrival  of  the  ship  off  the  American  coast,  she  sailed  up 
the  Connecticut  River  to  Windsor,  the  oldest  settlement  in  the 
Colony  of  Connecticut,  situated  fifty-seven  miles  from  its  mouth. 
Here  John  Higley,  with  his  own  consent,  was  sold  for  a  term 
of  service. 

We  are  fully  justified  in  the  conclusion  that  his  purchaser  was 
John  Drake,  though  this  name  is  not  given  in  the  old  MS.,  but 
subsequent  events  point  strongly  to  the  fact  that  he  was  taken 
immediately  into  the  home  of  this  worthy  family.  The  fact  is 
recorded  that  the  young  man  worked  faithfully  for  his  employer, 
cleared  the  entire  debt  of  his  passage  across  the  ocean,  and, 
having  his  employer's  full  confidence,  continued  in  his  service 
for  some  time  after  he  had  attained  his  majority. 

God's  smiling  providence  had  followed  the  boy  across  the  sea. 

England,  and  treated  as  recognized  species  of  property.  English  laborers  bound  themselves  to 
serve  a  term  of  years,  fairly  hoping  to  better  their  condition  in  America  ;  and  men  in  domestic  or 
other  trouble  would  sell  themselves  for  a  term  of  service  :  trusting  to  luck  to  come  up  in  better 
plight  in  a  new  world.  Runaway  apprentices  were  greedily  welcomed  by  crimps  or  decoy  agents 
concerned  in  shipping  recruits  to  the  new  colonies.  In  those  days  of  slow  communication,  men  of 
every  sort  were  as  utterly  lost  in  America  to  their  old  lives  as  they  could  have  been  had  they 
migrated  to  the  moon." — Edward  Eggleston,  Century  Magazine,  1884. 


A    BIT    OF    HISTORY. 

'Tis  like  a  dream  when  one  awakes — 

This  vision  of  the  scenes  of  old  ; 
'Tis  like  the  moon  when  morning  breaks  ; 

'Tis  like  a  tale  round  watch  fires  told. 

— John  Pierponfs  Hymn. 

WINDSOR,'  Conn.,  was  the  first  trading  post  in  the  colony. 
It  was  established  October  16,  1633.  The  attention  of  the  Eng- 
lish colonists  and  Puritans  on  the  Massachusetts  coast  was 
called  to  the  rich  broad  valley  of  the  Quonektacut,"  by  an  Indian 
chief,*  who,  escaping  the  savage  cruelty  of  overpowering  neighbor- 
ing tribes,  made  his  way  from  Matianuck  (now  Windsor),  through 
the  wilderness  to  Boston,  and  solicited  Governor  Winthrop  "  to 
come  to  plant  in  his  country";  extolling  its  richness  and  its  ad- 
vantages for  trade,  and  offering  "a  full  supply  of  corn,  and  an 
annual  present  of  eighty  beaver  skins." 

The  Indians,  who  were  numerous  upon  the  river,  belonged  to 
several  different  tribes  which  were  located  forty-five  miles  from 
its  mouth,  and  thickly  settled  in  the  region  above,  who  were  con- 
stantly in  warlike  relations,  driving  each  other  here  and  there. 
This  sagacious  chief  no  doubt  desired  the  favor  and  presence  of 
the  white  man  to  regain  for  him  his  hunting  grounds  and  to  pro- 
tect his  people  with  his  firearms.  Governor  Winthrop  saw  noth- 
ing in  the  proposition  to  merit  his  attention. 

Through  similar  sources  knowledge  came  to  Governor  Winslow 
of  the  Plymouth  Colony  of  these  valuable  lands,  which  were 
described  as  lying  at  the  juncture  of  the  two  beautiful  rivers,  the 
Connecticut  and  its  picturesque  tributary  the  Farmington;  lands 
rich  in  timber  and  furs,  and  abounding  with  beaver,  whose  future 
under  the  busy  hand  of  trade  and  civilization  promised  to  "flow 
with  milk  and  honey." 

1  The  main  facts  in  this  historical  narrative  of  the  early  settlement  of  Windsor,  Conn.,  are  extracts 
taken  from  Dr. David  McClure's  paper  in  the  "Massachusetts  Historical  Collection,"  vol.  v. ; 
Dr.  H.  R.  Stiles'  "  History  of  Ancient  Windsor";  and  the  "History  of  Hartford  County,  Conn.," 
by  J.  Hammond  Trumbull. 

8  The  Indian  name  for  Connecticut. 

8  Wahginmacut. 

2  5 


An  adventurer,  John  Oldham,  who  with  two  companions  were 
the  first  white  men  who  made  the  journey  overland  to  Matianuck, 
risking  his  life  among  the  dense  forests  and  deep  rivers,  returned 
with  glowing  representations  of  the  western  valley.  Governor 
Winslow  looked  with  approval  upon  a  movement  in  this  direction. 
The  result  was  that  the  Plymouth  Colony  took  the  project  in 

The  Dutch  had  for  the  last  ten  years  been  visiting  the  river 
as  traders.  In  1614,  a  Hollander,  Captain  Adrian  Block,  in  the 
Dutch  merchant  service,  while  cruising  about  in  a  small  yacht  of 
sixteen  tons  exploring  the  unknown  and  rugged  shores  of  Long 
Island  Sound,  discovered  the  Connecticut  River,  up  which  he  sailed 
to  near  the  head  of  navigation  (now  Windsor  Locks).  The  Dutch 
West  India  Company  had  since  the  year  1621  a  monopoly  of  trade 
on  its  banks,  and  had  sometimes  bartered  with  the  savages  for  as 
many  as  ten  thousand  beaver  skins  in  a  single  year,  but  had  made 
no  attempt  at  a  settlement.  However,  when  the  attention  of 
the  English  on  the  Massachusetts  coast  was  being  turned  in  this 
direction,  the  Dutch,  to  make  their  claim  to  the  right  of  possession 
secure,  and  prevent  usurpation  of  their  rights,  purchased  in  June, 
1633,  of  the  Indians,  a  tract  of  meadow  land  at  Matianuck,  and 
built  a  small  fort,  manning  it  with  two  small  cannon. 

To  ignore  the  claim  of  the  Dutch,  and  get  possession  of  the 
desirable  lands  above  their  rude  defense,  it  was  necessary  for  the 
English  to  choose  a  man  of  courage  and  determination,  together 
with  a  crew  of  equal  metal.  Captain  William  Holmes,  with  "  a 
large  bark  "  belonging  to  the  Plymouth  Company,  sailed  from 
Boston  in  October,  1633.  He  had  on  board  the  frame  of  a 
house  which  was  prepared  in  Plymouth  with  all  the  materials 
requisite  for  its  erection.  He  also  carried  with  him  Nattawanut 
and  other  Indian  sachems,  the  original  proprietors  of  the  soil, 
who  had  been  driven  thence  by  the  warlike  Pequots,  and  of 
whom  the  Plymouth  people  afterward  purchased  the  land. 

Passing  under  the  guns  of  the  Dutch  fort  at  Hartford,  and  up 
the  river  a  few  miles  above,  he  arrived  at  a  location  chosen  just 
below  the  mouth  of  the  Tunxis  or  Farmington  River  in  the 
present  town  of  Windsor.  Here  he  erected  his  house  on  a  lot 
of  43^  acres,  and  proceeded  to  fortify  it  with  palisades. 

The  Dutch,  after  emphatic  protests,  finally  withdrew,  and 
in  1653,  twenty  years  afterward,  when  England  and  Holland 
were  at  war,  their  little  fort  at  Hartford  was  taken.  In  1655  the 


last  vestige  of  Dutch  claim  on  the  Connecticut  River  was 

The  original  limits  of  the  town  of  Windsor  were  about  forty- 
six  miles  in  circumference,  lying  on  both  sides  of  the  Connecti- 
cut River.  It  was  first  called  Dorchester.  At  the  Com- 
missioner's Court  held  February  21,  1637,  it  was  "Ordered,  yl 
the  plantacon  called  Dorchester  shall  bee  called  Windsor;  "  *  and 
the  ancient  town  has  since  borne  that  name. 

Here  we  shall  find,  in  this  old  town  which  has  pleasantly  stood 
for  more  than  two  hundred  and  fifty  years,  the  early  scenes  of 
the  ancestry  of  the  Higleys. 

1  "  Connecticut  Colonial  Records,"  vol.  i.  p.  7. 



Roll  back  the  curtains  of  the  years  and  let  your  eyes  behold 
The  distant  times,  the  ancient  ways,  the  sturdy  men  of  old  ; 

Across  the  stormy  deep  they  came,  the  forest  wilds  they  trod, 
To  find  a  home  for  Liberty,  a  temple  for  their  God. 

And  now  behold  these  exiles  here,  John  Wareham  and  his  flock, 
Made  up  of  good  old  English  names,  and  good  old  English  stock  ; 

They  come  with  hearts  that  trust  in  God,  and  hands  made  strong  for  toil, 
To  build  their  rude  and  humble  homes,  and  break  the  waiting  soil. 

— I.  N.  TARBOX,  D.  D. 

To  the  illimitable  New  Erigland  forest,  uninhabited  save  by 
the  wily  Indian  and  grizzly  denizens  of  the  thickets,  including 
every  species  of  wild  beast  native  to  the  country,  came  the 
Rev.  John  Wareham,  Deacon  John  Moore,  and  John  Drake,  Sr., 
with  their  families. 

They  were  of  the  large  body  of  Puritans  who  came  with  John 
Winthrop  from  Plymouth,  England,  and  settled  first  at  Dor- 
chester, Mass.  John  Winthrop  had  said,  "I  shall  call  that  my 
country  where  I  may  most  glorify  God,  and  enjoy  the  presence 
of  my  dearest  friends,"1  and  these  staunch  Puritanic  forefathers, 
echoing  his  declaration,  accompanied  him. 

The  story  of  the  emigration  to  the  American  coast  of  the 
church  to  which  the  Rev.  John  Wareham  was  a  minister,  and 
John  Moore  a  deacon,  and  afterward  its  removal  in  a  body  to  the 
wilds  of  Connecticut,  is  interesting  to  our  readers,  inasmuch  as 
the  ship  Mary  and  John  brought  to  this  land  these  families  from 
whom  the  Higleys  are  direct  lineal  descendants,  through  their 
honored  Puritan  grandmothers,  ancestors  in  the  maternal  line. 

"  It  was  during  the  years  of  tyranny  which  followed  the  close 
of  the  third  Parliament  of  Charles  that  the  great  Puritan 
emigration  founded  the  States  of  New  England.  The  Parliament 
was  hardly  dissolved,  when  '  conclusions  '  for  the  establishment 
of  a  great  colony  on  the  other  side  of  the  Atlantic  were  circu- 
lating among  gentry  and  traders,  and  descriptions  of  the  new 

1  "  History  of  the  English  People,"  by  J.  R.  Green,  M,  A. 


country  of  Massachusetts  were  talked  over  in  every  Puritan 
household.  The  two  hundred  who  first  sailed  for  Salem  were 
soon  followed  by  Winthrop  himself  with  eight  hundred  men;  and 
seven  hundred  more  followed  ere  the  first  year  of  royal  tyranny 
had  run  its  course. 

"Nor  were  these  emigrants  like  the  earlier  colonists,  'broken 
men,'  adventurers,  bankrupts,  criminals,  or  simply  poor  men 
and  artisans.  They  were  in  great  part  men  of  the  professional 
and  middle  classes;  some  of  them  of  large  landed  estate,  some 
zealous  clergymen  like  Hooker  and  Cotton,  some  shrewd  London 
lawyers,  or  young  scholars  from  Oxford.  They  were  driven 
forth  from  their  fatherland,  not  by  earthly  want,  or  by  the  greed 
of  gold,  or  by  the  lust  of  adventure,  but  by  the  fear  of  God,  and 
zeal  for  a  godly  worship."1 

In  March,  1630,  this  strong  body  of  Puritans  met  in  Plymouth, 
Devonshire.  After  spending  a  solemn  day  of  fasting  and  prayer 
in  the  New  Hospital,  they  covenanted  in  church  fellowship. 

Two  of  the  grandsires  of  the  Higley  ancestry  were  placed  in 
responsible  church  relations,  the  Rev.  John  Wareham, "  who  was 
chosen  a  minister,  and  John  Moore,  who  was  appointed  a  deacon. 

1  From  "  History  of  the  English  People,"  by  J.  R.  Green,  M.  A. 

8  Rev.  John  Wareham  was  a  clergyman  of  Exeter,  England,  ordained  by  the  bishop  of  that 
diocese.  He  was  a  learned  man  of  celebrity  and  widespread  influence  in  his  native  country.  He 
espoused  the  Puritan  faith,  and  it  is  recorded  that  li  his  example  as  much  as  his  precept  greatly 
aided  the  decision  of  others  "  to  emigrate  to  America.  Roger  Clap,  in  his  "  Memoirs,"  mentions 
his  name  with  other  "  famous  ministers,"  as  "  sound,  godly,  learned  men." 

After  remaining  more  than  five  years  at  Dorchester,  Mass.,  he  again  transplanted  his  church,  the 
larger  proportion  of  its  membership  coming  with  him,  to  Windsor,  Conn.,  in  1635.  Here  he  was 
devoted  and  untiring  in  his  labors  during  a  long  pastorate  of  thirty-four  years.  It  is  said  that  he 
was  more  liberal  in  sentiment  than  many  of  his  Puritan  ministerial  brethren  of  those  times,  and 
was  a  preacher  of  great  attractive  power,  "having  an  uncommon  influence  over  his  hearers  of  all 
ranks  and  characters."  He  is  said  to  have  been  the  first  minister  in  this  country  who  used  notes 
when  preaching.  His  biographers  are  faithful  enough  to  tell  us  that  he  was  subject  to  moods  of 
gloomy  fancies,  and  that  there  were  times  when  he  refused  to  partake  of  the  sacraments  on  account 
of  a  "  sense  of  unworthiness,"  even  when  he  officiated  in  the  presence  of  his  people.  It  is  sup- 
posed that  he  possessed  good  estates  in  England.  He  was  twice  married,  and  had  a  large  family. 
His  daughter  Sarah  married  Return  Strong,  May  n,  1664.  His  granddaughter  Sarah  Strong,  the 
eldest  child  of  his  daughter  Sarah,  became  the  second  wife  of  John  Higley,  and  was  the  mother  of 
seven  of  his  children.  At  his  death,  Rev.  Mr.  Wareham  left  a  large  estate  in  lands. 

His  tomb  at  Windsor,  Conn.,  which  has  been  carefully  preserved  for  more  than  two  hundred 
years,  in  the  old  cemetery  surrounding  the  church.  "  now  the  oldest  orthodox  church  organiza- 
tion in  America"  (Stiles'  "  History  of  Ancient  Windsor,"  p.  858),  bears  the  following  inscription  : 


"  He  was  installed  Pastor  of  this  Church  at  its  organization  in  Plymouth,  England,  in  1630, 
They  arrived  in  this  country  the  3oth  of  May  the  same  year,  and  remained  at  Dorchester.  Mass., 
five  years,  when  they  removed  to  this  town.  Here  Mr.  Wareham  continued  his  pastoral  labors 
to  his  flock  until  April  i,  1670,  when  he  slept  in  the  Lord.  He  was  among  the  most  eminent  of 
New  England's  early  Divines. 



The  ship  Mary  and  John,  a  vessel  of  four  hundred  tons,  was 
chartered  for  the  voyage  to  America,  and  fitted  out  at  Plymouth. 
The  large  company  embarked  on  the  twentieth  of  the  month,  and 
were  seventy  days  in  making  the  passage. 

Says  Roger  Clap,  who  was  one  of  the  number,  in  an  interest- 
ing account  of  the  voyage  and  landing,  given  in  his  "  Memoirs": 
"What  a  wondrous  work  of  God  it  was,  to  -stir  up  such  Worthys 
to  undertake  such  a  difficult  Work  as  to  remove  themselves,  and 
their  Wives  and  Children,  from  their  Native  Country,  and  to  leave 
their  galliant  situations  there,  to  come  into  this  Wilderness  to  set 
up  the  pure  Worship  of  God  here  !  So  we  came,  by  the  good  Hand 
of  the  Lord,  through  the  Deeps  comfortably;  having  Preaching 
or  Expounding  of  the  Word  of  God  every  Day  for  Ten  Weeks 
together  by  our  Ministers. 

"When  we  came  to  Nantasket,  Captain  Squeb,  who  was  Captain 
of  that  great  ship,  would  not  bring  us  into  Charles  River,  as  he 
was  bound  to  do,  but  put  us  ashore,  and  our  Goods,  on  Nan- 
tasket Point,  and  left  us  to  shift  for  ourselves  in  a  forlorn  Place 
in  this  Wilderness." 

Procuring  a  boat  of  some  Planters,  and  "some  men  well 
armed,"  they  proceeded  up  the  Charles  and  finally  landed  "with 
much  Labor  and  Toil,  the  Bank  being  steep.  Night  soon  came 
on  and  we  were  informed  that  there  were  hard  by  us  three 
hundred  Indians.  A  man  was  sent  to  advise  them  not  to  come 
to  the  camping  pilgrims  in  the  Night.  Sentinels  were  appointed, 
and  we  laid  ourselves  down  in  the  wilderness  to  sleep.  In  the 
morning  some  of  the  Indians  came  and  stood  at  a  distance 
off,  looking  at  us,  but  came  not  near  us;  but  when  they 
had  been  a  while  in  view,  some  of  them  came,  and  held  out 
a  great  Bass  towards  us.  So  we  sent  a  man  with  a  Biskit,  and 
changed  the  Cake  for  the  Bass.  Afterwards  they  supplied  us 
with  Bass,  exchanging  a  Bass  for  a  Biskit,  and  were  very 
friendly  to  us. 

"  In  the  beginning  many  were  in  great  straits  for  want  of  Provi- 
sion for  themselves,  and  their  little  ones.  Oh,  the  Hunger  that 
many  suffered,  and  saw  no  hope  in  the  Eye  of  reason  to  be 
supplyed;  only  clams,  and  muscles,  and  Fish.  But  Bread  was 
with  many  a  very  scarce  thing;  and  flesh  of  all  kinds  as  scarce. 
And  in  those  Days,  in  our  straits,  though  I  cannot  say  God  sent 
a  Raven  to  feed  us  as  He  did  the  Prophet  Elijah,  yet  this  I  can 
say  to  the  praise  of  God,  that  He  sent  poor  ravenous  Indians, 


which  came  with  their  Baskits  of  corn  on  their  Backs  to  Trade 
with  us,  which  was  a  good  supply  unto  many. 

"  .  .  .  In  those  Days  God  did  cause  his  People  to  trust  in 
him,  and  to  be  contented  with  mean  things.  It  was  not 
accounted  a  strange  thing  in  those  Days  to  drink  Water,  and  to 
eat  Samp,  or  Homonie  without  Butter  or  Milk.  Indeed,  it  would 
have  been  a  strange  thing  to  see  a  peice  of  Roast  Beef,  Mutton, 
or  Veal,  though  it  was  not  long  before  there  was  Roast  Goat. 

"After  the  first  Winter,  we  were  very  healthy,  though  some  of 
us  had  no  great  store  of  Corn.  The  Indians  did  sometimes  bring 
Corn  and  Truck  to  us  for  Clothing,  and  Knives;  and  once  I  had 
a  Peck  of  Corn,  or  thereabouts,  for  a  little  Puppy  Dog.  Frost- 
fish,  Muscles,  and  Clams  were  a  relief  to  many." 

One  account  relates  that  "We  found  out  a  neck  of  land  joyning 
to  a  place  called  by  ye  Indians  Mattapan,  so  they  settled  at 
Mattapan.  They  began  their  settlement  here  at  Mattapan  ye 
beginning  of  June,  A.  D.  1630,  and  changed  the  name  into 

For  full  three  years  the  pilgrims  at  Dorchester  lived  in  har- 
mony. We  quote  again  from  Roger  Clap1:  "In  those  days 
Great  was  the  Tranquility  and  Peace;  And  there  was  great  love 
one  to  Another;  very  ready  to  help  each  other;  not  seeking  their 
own,  but  every  one  another's  Wealth."  They  early  made  progress 
toward  comfortable  living.  Wood  writes,  in  1633,  "  that  they 
had  fair  corn  fields,  pleasant  gardens,  a  great  many  cattle,  goats, 
and  swine,  and  that  the  plantation  had  a  reasonable  harbor  for 

There  seems  to  be  some  obscurity  as  to  the  primary  cause  of 
the  agitation  which  resulted  in  the  decision  of  this  ancient  church 
to  remove  in  a  body  to  the  Connecticut  wilderness.  It  was 
probably  owing  to  a  variety  of  reasons.  Clap  goes  on  to  say  : 
"But  the  work  of  God  towards  his  People  here  was  soon 
maligned  by  Satan;  and  he  cast  into  the  minds  of  some  corrupt 
Persons,  very  erroneous  Opinions;  which  did  breed  great  Dis- 
turbance in  the  Churches.  .  .  The  Godly  Ministers  were 
accused  of  preaching  false  doctrine,  and  theological  points  came 
into  discussion.  Troublers  of  the  country  went  about  and  many 
were  drawn  away  with  their  Disseminations." 

Added  to  this,  the  Massachusetts  Colony  had  enacted  laws 
which  were  a  yoke  to  their  liberty-loving  and  determined  spirits, 

1  "  Memoirs  of  Capt.  Roger  Clap,"  printed  in  Boston,  New  England,  1731. 


and  their  intense  love  of  freedom  was  undoubtedly  another  cause 
prompting  their  removal.  It  is  clearly  evident  that  they  had 
a  high  instinctive  consciousness  of  rights  and  possibilities  in  the 
pursuit  of  the  true  principles  of  religious  freedom,  and  believed 
that  somewhere  upon  the  soil  of  the  New  World  there  was  a  spot 
where  they  could  enjoy  happiness.  The  Massachusetts  law  per- 
mitted "none  but  Church  members  to  even  be  called  freemen  or 
to  become  voters."  They  were  interfered  with  in  a  thousand 
little  matters  which  were  of  a  private  nature,  and  which  might 
7best  have  been  left  to  themselves.  Sir  Richard  Saltonstall,  who 
came  with  the  fleet  in  1630  and  returned  to  England  the  follow- 
ing year,  wrote  to  the  Boston  ministers  as  follows: 

"  It  doeth  not  a  little  grieve  my  spirit  to  hear  what  sadd  things  are  reported 
daily  of  your  tyranny  and  persecutions  in  New  England,  as  that  you  fyne,  whip, 
and  imprison  men  for  their  conciences.  These  rigid  ways  have  layed  you  very  low 
in  the  hearts  of  ye  saynts."  * 

The  subject  of  removal  westward  was  weighed  in  its  different 
bearings  by  Mr.  Wareham's  entire  church.  They  held  days  of 
prayer  and  fasting,  and  finally  the  main  body  determined  to  leave 
Massachusetts  for  the  Connecticut  valley.  Rev.  Mr.  Wareham 
was  the  minister  and  leader-in-chief  of  the  new  and  hazardous 
undertaking.  The  decease  of  his  associate,  Rev.  Mr.  Maverick, 
had  previously  taken  place,,  They  sent  a  party  in  advance  to 
view  sites  for  the  settlement  where  is  now  Windsor,  and  the  main 
body  of  sixty  men  and  women  set  out  in  the  autumn  of  1635, 
carrying  with  them  the  original  records  of  the  Church.  They 
were  fourteen  days  making  the  journey. 

Their  road  lay  through  the  unbeaten  and  almost  trackless 
paths  of  an  unknown  forest,  with  deep  muddy  soil  and  across 
swift,  swollen  streams,  which  were  without  bridges  and  without 
ferries.  During  storms  the  tall  trees  of  the  thick  woods  were 
often  prostrated  in  heaps  like  stubble  across  the  rude  Indian 
paths  which  sometimes  led  their  way.  They  had  scarcely  any 
provisions  during  the  journey  except  what  they  carried  with  them, 
procuring  by  the  way  such  as  the  forests  afforded. 

"Their  household  furniture,  bedding,  and  winter  provisions 
were  sent  around  by  water,  and  it  is  probable  that  some  families 
also  took  this  means  of  conveyance.  '  Never  before  had  the 
forests  of  America  witnessed  such  a  scene  as  this.'  Driving  the 

1  "  History  of  Hartford  County,"  by  J.  Hammond  Trumbull,  vol.  i.  p.  26. 


cattle  before  them,  the  compass  their  only  guide,  commencing 
and  ending  each  day's  march  with  songs  of  praise  and  heartfelt 
utterance  of  prayer,  which  sounded  strangely  among  these  soli- 
tudes— they  journeyed  on. 

"Before  they  reached  Connecticut  the  hues  of  autumn  had  faded 
from  the  forests;  winter  set  in  unusually  early.  By  the  fifteenth 
of  November  the  river  was  closed  with  ice,  and  as  yet  the  vessel 
containing  their  household  goods  and  provisions  had  not  arrived, 
nor  were  there  any  tidings  of  it.  The  rude  shelter  and  accom- 
modations which  had  been  provided  for  themselves  and  their 
cattle  proved  to  be  quite  insufficient  to  protect  them  against  the 
extreme  inclemency  of  the  season.  They  were  able  to  get  only 
a  portion  of  their  cattle  across  the  river,  the-  remainder  were  left 
to  winter  themselves  as  best  they  could  on  the  acorns  and  roots 
of  the  forest."  l 

Disputes  and  contentions  with  other  claimants  about  posses- 
sion of  the  choice  lands  at  Matianuck  met  them  upon  their 
arrival,  November  i,  1635,  which  added  to  their  discouragements. 
In  less  than  a  month  a  small  party  from  their  number,  "driven 
by  hunger  and  distress,"  retraced  their  way  to  the  eastern  coast 
amid  great  vicissitudes  and  at  peril  of  their  lives.  A  larger  num- 
ber journeyed  down  the  river  on  foot  to  within  twenty  miles  of 
its  mouth,  where  they  found  a  small  vessel  which  had  been  ice- 
bound in  the  river,  and  which  fortunately  had  just  been  loosened 
by  a  winter  thaw.  In  this  they  set  sail  for  Boston.  The  hard- 
ships and  sufferings  of  the  families  which  remained  were  direful 
in  the  extreme.  They  had  not  sufficient  food  or  shelter,  and  it 
is  said  their  loss  in  cattle  was  very  heavy. 

In  the  early  spring  those  who  had  made  their  way  back 
to  Massachusetts  during  the  winter  returned,  and  settled  them- 
selves permanently  with  their  Connecticut  friends. 

These  settlers  first  established  themselves  under  the  general 
government  of  the  Massachusetts  Colony,  but  it  was  not  long 
before  they  formed  a  separate  commonwealth — the  "  COLONIE 

1  Stiles'  "  History  of  Ancient  Windsor,"  p.  25. 



"  Love,  Truth,  and  Justice  stamp  the  man  of  worth 
And  yield  the  homage  of  enduring  fame." 

THE  Moores  and  Drakes  were  participators  in  all  the  changes 
and  experiences  of  the  migrating  Puritan  Church  which  gathered 
itself  together  in  the  dark  days  of  Protestantism  at  the  seaport 
of  Plymouth,  England.  John  Moore  appears  to  have  been  active 
in  the  notable  Day  of  Prayer  held  just  before  the  embarkation  at 
Plymouth,  since  he  received  the  appointment  and  "came  as 
Deacon,"  and  ever  after  was  closely  allied  in  friendship  with  the 
Rev.  Mr.  Wareham,  who  found  in  him  a  stanch  supporter  during 
the  remainder  of  his  life.  He  was  made  freeman  *  at  Dorches- 
ter, Mass.,  May  18,  1631. 

In  Matthew  Grant's  MSS.  ancient  Records  of  the  Church  at 
Windsor,  Conn.,2  the  following  interesting  entry  is  found:  "  List 
of  Members  of  the  Church  that  were  so  at  Dorchester,  and  came 
up  here  with  Mr.  Wareham,  and  are  still  with  us."  Among  other 
names  in  the  "  List "  is  that  of  "  Deacon  John  Moore,"  and  "  of 
women,  Deacon  Moore's  wife." 

Thomas  Moore,  the  father  of  John,  appears  to  have  come  to 
America,  and  to  have  finally  settled  in  Connecticut  with  his  son. 
In  the  earliest  grants  given  of  lands  in  Windsor  was  a  "lot  ten 
rods  wide  " 3  which  was  "  set  off  "  to  him,  adjoining  on  the  north 
one  of  like  measurement  "set  off"  to  Deacon  Moore.  "The 

1  One  who  is  entitled  to  franchise.  "  The  principal  part  of  the  first  settlers  having  no  political 
rights  under  the  charter,  the  court  immediately  made  arrangements  for  extending  the  privileges 
of  freemanship  to  all  suitable  persons,  and  on  the  first  application  of  this  right,  October  igth,  1630, 
among  108  persons,  twenty-four  belonged  to  Dorchester. 

"  Besides  the  right  of  suffrage,  freemen  enjoyed  advantages  in  the  division  of  lands.  The  prin- 
cipal qualification  for  this  privilege  was  church  membership."— History  o/ Dorchester ;  p.  27. 

*  In  possession  of  the  Connecticut  Historical  Society. 

8  The  Court  of  London,  held  May  21,  1629,  had  ordered  :  "  For  the  purpose  of  mutual  defence 
settlements  must  be  very  compact,  and  that  within  a  certain  plot,  or  pale,  every  one  should  build 
his  house.  A  half-acre  is  named  as  the  size  of  a  house  lot  within  this  pale." 

Says  Eggleston  :  "  No  man  might  live  far  away  from  the  meeting  house.  The  Church  was  a  pow- 
erful force  from  within  holding  the  town  compacted,  and  the  almost  unflagging  hostility  of  the 
savages  for  nearly  one  hundred  years,  gave  a  pressure  from  without,  making  it  convenient  to  live, 
not  upon  farms,  but  upon  home-lots." — The  Century,  1884,  p.  851. 





two  lots  correspond  very  nearly  with  the  grounds  now  held  by 
the  present  resident,  the  Hon.  H.  S.  Hayden. " 

There  is  little  recorded  of  Thomas  Moore  except  that  he 
served  as  juror  from  the  year  1639  to  ^42,  and  died  in  1645. 
He  was  probably  advanced  in  years. 

Deacon  John  Moore  became  possessed  of  large  landed  estates, 
and  in  later  years  built  one  of  the  most  costly  houses  of  the  times. 
By  special  courtesy  of  Henry  R.  Stiles,  M.  D.,  a  drawing  of  the 
residence  is  presented. 

"  It  was  in  its  day  a  fine  house.  Some  of  its  ornaments  remain,  sufficient  to 
hint  of  its  former  glory."  .  .  "  I  have  pointed  out  [says  the  writer]  the  door  for 
the  cat,  for  at  that  early  day  it  was  considered  a  very  necessary  accommodation  to 
so  important  and  privileged  a  member  of  the  household.  The  old  elm  which  over- 
shadows the  house  always  possessed  as  much  interest  as  the  dwelling  in  the  hearts 
of  the  descendants,  being  one  of  the  oldest  and  most  beautiful  trees  in  the  town."  J 

A  portion  of  the  venerable  house — the  gable  end,  was  still  to 
be  seen  in  the  year  1888. 

Deacon  John  Moore  enjoyed  the  confidence  and  esteem  of  his 
townspeople  in  matters  of  local  and  public  trust,  and  held  a  con- 
spicuous place  in  the  town  proceedings. 

In  those  days  the  town  meeting  served  all  the  local  purposes 
of  the  community.  By  it  almost  every  concern  was  regulated. 
None  but  men  of  stanch  integrity  and  upright  life  held  the 
affairs  of  these  meetings  in  their  hands. 

We  find  Deacon  John  Moore's  name  at  the  General  Court 
serving  as  member  of  the  jury  as  early  as  1642,  and  in  1643  he 
was  a  deputy.  The  General  Court,  which  consisted  of  the 
governor,  the  magistrates,  and  deputies,  afterward  became  the 
General  Assembly.  To  this  body  he  was  repeatedly  re-elected 
representative  until  1677,  the  year  of  his  decease.  In  those  times 
the  civil  officers  served  for  the  honor  of  the  office  and  the  good 
of  the  community  without  compensation. 

In  his  public  career  he  was  closely  associated  with  Governor 
Winthrop,  Mr.  Henry.  Wolcott,  Benjamin  Newberry,  and  other 
distinguished  Connecticut  men  of  the  times,  in  perfecting  the 
foundation  system  upon  which  the  structure  of  the  State  and  our 
National  existence  was  afterward  reared.2 

1 "  History  of  Ancient  Windsor,"  by  H.  R.  Stiles. 

'"Connecticut's  Town  Government  had  a  peculiar  character.  The  town  was  the  original  unit, 
the  State  a  confederation  of  the  towns.  Each  town  was  a  miniature  republic  and  sent  its  repre- 
sentatives to  the  General  Court.  It  was  by  Connecticut  ideas,  historians  agree,  the  troubles  of 
forming  the  United  States  Government  were  solved." — from  Speech  of  Senator  Joseph  R.  Hawley. 


Deacon  Moore  was  a  Puritan  after  the  straitest  of  his  sect. 
We  may  imagine  his  supernatural  look  of  grave  dignity  as  he  sat 
in  the  General  Court,  confirming  various  enactments  of  stringent 
law  and  rule,  and  voting  strictly  against  any  measure  which 
tended  toward  loosening  in  any  wise  the  bands  of  their  rigid  high 
beliefs.  The  old  Puritan  commanded  reverence,  not  by  words 
more  than  by  his  awe-inspiring,  somber  dignity,  so  that  even  at 
middle  age  his  appearance  was  venerable. 

Many  of  the  Acts  of  the  "General  Court,"  during  the  period 
that  this  honorable  grandsire  was  a  member,  are  to  be  noticed 
with  special  interest.  In  December,  1642,  he  was  among  the 
number  who  framed  and  established  the  Capital  Laws.1  The 
Code  contained  twelve  different  offences  for  which  the  penalty  of 
death  was  imposed. 

Neither  did  these  eminent   religionists  spare  the  gossips  and 

1  "  Capitall  Lames,  Established  by  the  General  Court,  the  First  of  December,  1642  : 

"  i.  If  any  man  after  legall  conviction  shall  have  or  worship  any  other  God  but  the  Lord  God, 
hee  shall  bee  put  to  death. — Deut.  13 :  6,  and  17  :  2.  Ex.  22  :  20. 

"2.  If  any  man  or  woman  bee  a  Witch  (that  is,  hath  or  consulted  with  a  familiar  spirit),  they 
shall  bee  put  to  death. — Ex.  22  :  18.  Lev.  20  :  27.  Deut.  18  :  10. 

"  3.  If  any  person  shall  blaspheme  the  name  of  God  the  ffather,  Sonne,  or  holy  Ghost,  with 
direct,  express,  presumptuous,  or  high-handed  blasphemy,  or  shall  curse  God  in  the  like  manner, 
hee  shall  bee  put  to  death. — Lev.  24  :  15,  16. 

"  4.  If  any  person  shall  committ  any  willfull  murder,  which  is  manslaughter  committed  uppon 
malice,  hatred,  or  cruelty,  not  in  a  man's  necessary  and  just  defence,  nor  by  mere  casualty  against 
his  will,  hee  shall  be  put  to  death. — Ex.  21  :  12,  13,  14.  Numb.  35  :  30,  31. 

"  5.  If  any  person  shall  slay  another  through  guile,  either  by  poisonings  or  other  such  Devillish 
practice,  hee  shall  bee  put  to  death. — Ex.  21  :  14." 

The  6th,  /th,  8th,  and  gth  laws  relate  to  unchastity  and  were  punishable  by  death. — Lev.  20  : 
10,  13,  15,  16,  18,  20.  Deut.  22  :  33,  24,  25. 

"  10.  If  any  man  stealeth  a  man  or  mankinde,  hee  shall  bee  put  to  death. — Exodus  22  :  16. 

"  ii.  If  any  man  rise  up  a  false  wittness,  wittingly  and  of  purpose  to  take  away  any  man's  life, 
hee  shall  bee  put  to  death. — Deut.  19  :  16,  18,  19. 

"  12.  If  any  man  shall  conspire,  or  attempt  any  invasion,  insurrection,  or  rebellion  against  the 
Commonwealth,  hee  shall  bee  put  to  death." 

The  following  Laws  were  adopted  in  1650  : 

"  13.  If  any  Childe  or  Children,  above  sixteene  years  old,  of  suffitient  understanding,  shall  Curse 
or  smite  their  natural)  father  or  mother,  hee  or  they  shall  bee  put  to  death  ;  unless  it  can  bee  suf- 
ficiently testified  that  the  parents  have  been  very  unchristianly  negligent  in  the  education  of 
such  children,  or  so  provoke  them  by  extreme  and  cruell  correction  that  they  have  been  forced 
thereunto  to  preserve  themselves  from  death,  maiming. — Ex.  21 :  17.  Levit.  20. 

"14.  If  any  man  have  a  stubborne  and  rebellious  sonne  of  sufficient  years  and  understanding, 
viz.,  Sixteen  yeares  of  age,  which  will  not  obey  the  voice  of  his  ffather,  or  the  voice  of  his  mother, 
and  that  when  they  have  chastized  him  will  not  hearken  unto  them  ;  then  may  his  ffather  and 
mother,  being  his  naturall  parents,  lay  hold  on  him  and  bring  him  to  the  Magistrates  assembled 
in  Courte  and  testifie  unto  them,  that  their  sonne  is  stubborne  and  rebellious  and  will  not  obey 
theire  voice  and  Chastisement,  but  lives  in  sundry  notorious  Crimes,  such  a  sonne  shall  be  put  to 
death. — Deut.  21 :  20,  21." 



slanderers,  who  were  made  to  feel  the  keen  punishment  and  dis- 
grace of  the  stocks  and  pillory;  and  in  some  cases  the  whipping- 
post, which  "we  have  it  as  a  tradition,"  says  Trumbull,  "was 
placed  on  Broad  Street  Green,  the  most  conspicuous  part  of  the 
town."  It  was  not  entirely  abolished  until  1714.  For  defama- 
tion, "  one  Bartlett,  in  1646,  was  sentenced  to  stand  in  the  pillory 
during  the  weekly  church  lecture,  then  to  be  whipped,  pay  a  fine 
of  five  pounds,  and  suffer  six  months  imprisonment." 

"  For  the  preventing  and  avoiding  of  that  foul  and  gross  sin 
of  lying,"  an  ordinance  was  passed  "  that  when  any  person  or 
persons  shall  be  accused  and  found  guilty  of  that  vice,  it  shall  be 
lawful  for  the  particular  Court  to  adjudge  and  censure  any  such 
party  either  by  fine  or  bodily  correction."  '  "  Branding  with  the 
letter  B  for  burglary,  and  whipping  at  the  cart's  tail  for  crimes 
against  morality,  were  also  methods  of  punishment."" 

In  the  year  1648,  one  Peter  Bussaker  was  sentenced  by  the 
Court  to  "bee  committed  to  prison,  and  there  bee  kept  in  safe 
custody  till  the  sermon,  and  then  to  stand  in  the  time  thereof  in 
the  pillory,  and  after  the  sermon  be  severely  whipt,  for  saying: 
that  he  hoped  to  meet  some  of  the  members  of  the  Church  in  hell 
ere  long,  and  hee  did  not  question  but  hee  should."  a 

On  the  6th  of  December  of  the  same  year,  with  dignified 
solemnity  the  Court  considered  the  state  of  their  Zion,  and 
decided  that  Heaven  should  be  besieged  by  prayer  for  her  pros- 
perity. The  following  was  passed  : 

"  Ordered,  that  there  bee  a  day  of  Humiliation  kept  by  all  the 
churches  in  this  Jurisdiction,  to  seeke  ye  face  of  ye  Lord  in  be- 
half e  of  his  Churches  upon  this  day  fortnight"4 

The  next  morning,  upon  resuming  their  seats  in  council,  the 
jury  presented  a  bill  of  indictment  against  one  Mary  Johnson, 
declaring  that  "By  her  own  confession  shee  is  guilty  of  familly- 
arity  with  the  Devill. "  5 

In  the  days  of  Deacon  Moore  they  wrestled  with  witches. 
Superstition  still  had  a  hold  upon  them.  It  must  be  remembered 
that  their  new  religious  principles  were  engrafted  upon  an  old 
system,  which  was  environed  by  superstitions  from  which  they 

1  "  Connecticut  Colonial  Records." 

4  "  History  of  Hartford  County,"  by  J.  Hammond  Trumbull,  p.  508. 

'  "  Connecticut  Colonial  Records."  The  sermon  was  anywhere  from  one  and  a  half  to  two 
hours  long. 

4  "  Connecticut  Colonial  Records." 
*  "  Connecticut  Colonial  Records." 


were  not  yet  emancipated,  and  says  Green  :  "  With  all  the  strength 
and  manliness  of  Puritanism,  its  bigotry  and  narrowness  had 
crossed  the  Atlantic  too."  ' 

Mary  Johnson  had  tried  the  forbearance  of  our  ponderous  and 
solemn  heroes  before  this  frank  confession  which  she  now  made. 
The  records  show  that  their  executive  power  had  been  called 
into  exercise  concerning  her  in  1646,  when  she  was  found  "  guilty 
of  theury,"  and  was  "Ordered,  to  be  presently  whipped,  and  to 
be  brought  forth  a  month  hence  at  Wethersfield  and  there 
whipped."  Upon  this  second  consideration  of  her  case  they 
appear  to  have  been  roused  into  a  spirit  quite  the  contrary  to 
that  religious  "charity  which  never  faileth."  Mary  was  found 
guilty  of  witchery  and  was  probably  executed  early  in  1649. 
"There  seems  but  little  doubt,"  says  J.  H.  Trumbull,  "that  a 
woman  was  hung  in  Windsor  for  witchcraft  (and  perhaps  other 
crimes)  about  this  time,  and  there  were  in  the  Commonwealth 
several  accusations  and  trials  for  witchcraft,  and  a  few  execu- 
tions." s 

Deacon  John  Moore  continued  to  fill  the  office  of  deacon  of  the 
church  until  his  death.  The  latest  record  in  connection  with  his 
official  duties  in  this  station,  is  a  bill  for  bread  furnished  for 
sacraments  from  June,  1666,  to  February,  1673,  amounting  to 
;£4  2s.  od.  He  also  filled  his  seat  as  representative  to  the 
General  Assembly  at  the  May  session  previous  to  his  decease. 

Among  his  children  was  a  daughter,  Hannah,  one  of  the 
ancestral  grandmothers  of  our  story,  who  was  probably  born  in 
England,  or  soon  after  the  arrival  of  her  parents  in  America.  In 
Windsor  Records  are  found  the  dates  of  the  births  of  other  chil- 
dren, one  of  whom  was  John  Moore,  Jr.,  who  was  also  for  many 
years  a  deacon. 

John  Moore,  Sr.,  died  September  18,  1677.  The  interment 
was  in  -Windsor  burying  ground  on  the  following  day. 

1  "  History  of  the  English  People,"  by  J.  R.  Green. 

a  "  Connecticut  Colonial  Records." 

*  "  History  of  Hartford  County,"  by  J.  Hammond  Trumbull,  vol.  i.  p.  352. 



O  faithful  worthies,  resting  far  behind 

In  your  dark  ages,  since  ye  fell  asleep 
Much  has  been  done  for  truth,  and  humankind. 


THE  Drakes  were  a  very  ancient  family.  They  descended  from 
a  long  line  of  valiant  men,  who  can  be  traced  back  for  many 
centuries.  There  is  sufficient  well-authenticated  history  relative 
to  these  maternal  antecedents  of  the  Higleys  to  fill  a  separate 
volume.  From  the  time  of  the  Reformation  they  are  of  the  purest 
Protestant  blood;  and  as  far  as  can  be  learned,  the  good  grand- 
mothers so  impressed  their  principles  upon  their  offspring  that 
the  Higleys,  at  least,  to  this  day  maintain  with  hereditary  instinct 
the  characteristic  of  clinging  bravely  to  reforms,  and  hold  with 
tenacious  devotion  to  broad  and  liberal  principles. 

From  a  genealogical  book  published  by  a  descendant,  Samuel  G. 
Drake  of  Boston,  in  1845,  the  following  extracts  are  taken  : l 

"As  early  as  the  Norman  Conquest  there  were  several  families 
of  the  name,  residing  chiefly  within  a  small  compass,  in  the  south 
part  of  Devonshire,  England.  In  Doomsday  Book  a  six  estates 
are  mentioned  as  possessed  by  persons  of  the  name.  Indeed,  we 
are  told  that  Honiton,  one  of  these  estates,  was  well  known  to  the 
Romans,  and  was  held  by  Drago  the  Saxon,  before  the  Conquest. 
Hence  the  fact  that  the  Drakes  were  Saxons.  Not  long  after  the 
conquest  of  England  by  William  of  Normandy  (1066),  we  find  a 
family  seated  at  Ebcmouth,  the  head  of  which  was  John  Drake.3 

1  "  Account  of  the  Drake  Family  in  America,"  by  S.  G.  Drake. 

1  The  Doomsday  Book  is  the  result  of  a  survey  begun  in  1080  by  William  the  Conqueror,  and 
completed  in  1086,  and  briefly  registers  the  names  of  the  Saxon  landholders  and  their  possessions. 
The  original  book  is  still  in  existence  and  is  in  two  volumes.  Taxes  were  levied  from  it  down  to 
1522,  when  a  more  accurate  survey  was  taken. 

3  Several  members  of  the  Drake  descendants  are  mentioned  in  various  connections  in  ancient 
records  of  Great  Britain. 

"An  ancestor  [John]  went  from  Devonshire  to  Ireland  in  isisby  special  permission  of  Edward  II. 
'  to  go  beyond  the  sea,'  and  we  have  distinguished  mention  of  some  of  his  descendants. 

"  Captain  George  Drake  of  Apsham  [1553]  was  the  first  Englishman  who  explored  the  river  St. 

"  Robert  Drake  suffered  as  a  martyr.    He  was  a  minister  of  Thundersly  in  Essex,  who  was  burnt 


"Prince,  vicar  of  Berry-Pomeroy,  who  wrote  and  published 
'  The  Worthies  of  Devon,'  speaking  of  the  Drake  family  at 
Ashe  [in  the  parish  of  Munsberry,  about  i^  miles  to  the  south 
of  Axminster],  says:  'This  ancient  and  honourable  family  came 
originally  from  Exmouth,  a  small  hamlet  on  the  east  side  of  the 
river  Ex  where  it  flows  into  the  mouth  of  the  British  Ocean. 
Here  dwelleth  JOHN  DRAKE,  a  man  of  great  estate,  and  a  name  of 
no  less  antiquity.'  'This  account,'  says  Prince, he  'received  from 
Sir  William  Pole  [descended  from  that  family  on  the  maternal 
side],  who  says  :  "I  copied  it  out  of  an  old  Roll,  and  written  all 
with  mine  own  hand  in  the  month  of  April,  in  the  year  of  our 
Lord  God,  1616." 

"  The  motto  has  always  been  : 


"  The  figure  in  the  shield  is  called  by  heralds  a  wivern,  which 
is  another  name  for  the  fabled  Dragon  of  antiquity.  Draco  or 
Drago  is  the  Roman  name  of  Drake.  .  .  We  find  that  the 
Dragon  was  displayed  on  the  banners  of  the  Britons  as  early  as 
1448,  and  that  churches  have  borne  the  emblem  from  time 

at  the  stake  in  Smithfield,  April  23,  1556,  in  the  reign  of  Mary.  When  exhorted  by  Bishop  Bonner 
to  renounce  his  heresy,  Drake  made  him  this  bold  and  memorable  reply  :  ''As  for  your  Church  of 
Rome,  I  utterly  deny  and  defy  it  with  all  the  works  thereof,  even  as  I  deny  the  Devil  and  all 
his  works?  He  had  then  lain  nearly  a  year  in  prison,  and  was  immediately  thereafter  ordered  to 

"  The  father  of  Admiral  Sir  Francis  Drake,  Knt.,  was  named  Robert,  and  was  also  an  outspoken 
Protestant  clergyman,  who,  to  avoid  suffering  in  the  same  flames  which  had  consumed  his  kindred, 
fled  his  place  of  nativity,  near  South  Tavistock,  Devon,  and  secreted  himself  and  his  family  in  an 
old  forsaken  ship  for  many  years.  He  had  twelve  children,  all  sons,  several  of  them  born  '  in  the 
hulle  of  the  shippe,'  most  of  whom  followed  the  sea  in  foreign  parts. 

"  Sir  Francis  was  the  eldest  of  the  twelve  boys.  By  perseverance  and  resolution  in  overcoming 
difficulties,  and  by  unflinching  courage,  he  rose  in  gradual  succession  to  the  highest  rank  in  the 
English  Naval  service,  and  to  the  honor  of  knighthood  bestowed  by  the  Sovereign.  This  extraordi- 
nary man  was  the  first  Englishman  that  circumnavigated  the  globe,  or,  as  one  of  his  historians 
says,  '  the  first  who  ploughed  a  furrow  round  the  world.'  A  special  coat  of  arms  was  granted  him 
in  recognition  of  his  distinguished  services  to  his  country." — Life  of  Sir  Francis  Drake,  by  John 

"  Of  the  Drake  descendants  from  the  house  of  Ashe  a  century  later,  and  of  more  modern  times, 
was  Samuel  Drake,  D.  D.,  a  man  of  eminent  literary  attainments,  who  died  in  1673  ;  Francis  Drake, 
M.  D.,  surgeon  of  York  and  F.  R.  S.,  a  great  antiquary,  the  author  of  the  history  and  antiquities 
of  York  ;  William  Drake,  A.  M.,  F.  S.  A.,  Vicar  of  Isleworth,  was  his  son.  Of  the  same  family  was 
Nathan  Drake,  M.  D.,  of  Hadleigh  in  Suffolk,  the  well-known  essayist  and  most  skillful  and  suc- 
cessful annotator  and  biographer  of  Shakespeare.  And  before  him  in  point  of  time  was  Dr.  James 
Drake,  F.  R.  S.,  whose  discoveries  in  anatomy  are  not  surpassed  in  importance  by  those  of  Harvey. 

"  This  list  might  be  extended  with  names  equally  claiming  attention." — Account  of  the  Drake 
Family,  by  S.  G.  Drake. 

1  "  The  eagle  doth  not  prey  upon  the  fly." 



"  That  the  original  bearer  of  the  Arms  of  DRAKE  *  performed 
some  act  to  entitle  him  to  it,  there  is  perhaps  no  question,  but 
what  that  precise  act  may  have  been  has  long  since  passed  beyond 
the  utmost  bounds  of  tradition. 

"John  Drake  of  the  Council  of  Plymouth,  one  of  the  original 
Company  established,  by  King  James  in  1606  for  settling  New 
England,  was  of  a  branch  of  the  house  of  Ashe,  two  of  whose 
sons  came  to  America — John,  who  came  to  Dorchester,  near 
Boston,  in  1630  with  two  or  more  sons,  and  who  finally  settled  at 
Windsor,  Conn.,  and  Robert,  who  settled  in  Hampton,  N.  H.  From 
these  brothers  are  descended  all  by  the  name  in  New  England, 
and  most,  if  not  all  of  those  bearing  the  name  in  the  middle, 
southern,  and  western  United  States." 

1  The  armorial  bearings  of  the  Drake  family  are  the  same  in  all  the  lines  of  descent,  except  the 
special  arms  granted  to  Sir  Francis  Drake.  All  by  the  name,  whose  antecedents  are  traceable  to 
the  Devonshire  family,  are  justified  in  claiming  lineage  from  this  distinguished  ancestry. 



It  was  the  star  of  Bethlehem  that  Jighted  their  way  across  the  Atlantic  and  went  before  them 
to  the  place  where  the  young  child  of  the  Republic  lay  in  its  wilderness  manger. — CHARLES 

THE  American  colonist,  John  Drake,  was  one  of  the  con- 
temporary band  who  came  with  his  family  in  the  Winthrop  fleet. 
Persecution,  nearly  a  century  before,  had  intensified  Protestan- 
tism, and  at  a  later  period  infused  Puritanism  into  the  veins  of 
the  descendants  of  the  ancient  family,  and  these  principles  were 
born  in  John  Drake's  blood.  Both  himself  and  his  wife  were 
stanch  Puritans. 

His  application  to  be  made  freeman  is  found  in  the  list  of  the 
first  persons  who  requested  that  franchise  at  Dorchester,  Mass., 
October  19,  1630,  only  a  few  months  after  the  arrival  of  the 
Puritan  ships.  It  is  believed  by  some  historians  that  he  resided 
for  a  brief  period  at  Taunton,  Mass.,  where  members  of  his 
family  remained,  before  he  came  to  Windsor,  Conn.  In  1639  he 
is  found  at  the  latter  place,  where  he  spent  the  remainder  of  his 

Land  grants  were  not  put  upon  record  in  Windsor  until  the 
year  1640.  Among  the  earliest  entries  of  that  year  is  one  relat- 
ing to  a  portion  twenty-two  and  a  half  rods  in  width,  "set  off" 
to  John  Drake. 

In  1643  he  served  the  General  Court  as  juror,  and  was  again  a 
member  in  June,  1646. 

From  an  entry  upon  the  Colonial  Records  about  this  period,  it 
appears  that  this  high  old  Puritan  sometimes  permitted  his 
temper  to  get  the  best  of  him,  and  with  it  fell  his  dignity.  Using 
language,  one  day,  which  his  fellow-jurors  considered  profane, 
they  at  once  imposed  upon  him  a  fine  to  the  full  extent  the  law 
allowed,  viz. : 

"John  Drake,  for  his  misdemeanor  in  ppphane  execrations 
is  fyned  40  s."  * 

Singularly  enough,  Deacon  John  Moore,  his  friend  and  neigh- 

1  "Connecticut  Colonial  Records,"  1636-1635. 


bor,  was  a  member  of  the  jury  and  of  the  court  which  con- 
demned his  unadvisable  utterances. 

In  October,  1648,  his  temper  was  again  wrought  to  a  boiling 
point  at  the  slanderous  gossip  of  one  John  Bennett,  a  townsfellow 
of  doubtful  reputation,  who  declared  that  he — John  Bennett — 
"  had  intised  and  drawne  away  the  affections  of  his  daughter."  ' 

Straight  to  the  General  Court  he  goes  and  enters  complaint. 
John  Bennett  was  duly  brought  up  at  the  next  sitting  of  the 
Court,  whereupon  he  retracted  his  statement,  and  promising  to 
be  more  careful  in  his  conversation  about  the  girls  thereafter,9 
the  "  Court  was  willing  once  more  to  pass  by  his  Corporall 
punishment,"  and  he  was  "bownd  over  for  good  behavior."5 
The  law  was  not  only  expressly  severe  upon  backbiters  and 
slanderers  but  "against  any  man  who  should  inveigle  the  affec- 
tions of  any  '  maide,  or  maide-servant,'  unless  her  parents  or 
gaurdians  should  'give  way  and  allowance  in  that  respect.'"  * 

With  the  exception  of  these  few  unflattering  experiences, — and 
they  are  the  only  ones  that  can  be  traced, — John  Drake's  life  at 
Windsor,  Conn.,  among  the  number  who  were  shaping  the  future 
of  the  young  colony,  was  marked  by  usefulness,  and  left  its  good 
impress  upon  generations  of  posterity. 

His  wife,  Elizabeth  Drake,  was  born  in  England  in  1581.  This 
worthy  pair  were  nearing  middle  age  when  they  came  to  America. 
They  left  behind  them  all  the  comforts  of  an  English  home  of 
the  "gentry"  class,  severed  themselves  from  cultured  society 
and  associations,  and  came  to  the  strange  wild  shores  of  an  unin- 
habited wilderness,  for  the  sole  purpose 

..."  serenely  high, 
Freedom  to  worship  God." 

They  were  the  parents  of  three  sons,  Jacob,  Job,  and  John 
Drake,  Jr.,  all  of  whom,  together  with  their  daughters,  one  of 
whom  bore  the  name  Hannah,  were  born  in  England.  Their 
children  accompanied  them  to  America  and  became  prominent  in 
church  affairs,  and  in  founding  their  Christian  Commonwealth. 
Job  Drake  married  Mary,  the  daughter  of  Henry  Wolcott,  Esq., 
the  founder  of  a  family  distinguished  to  this  day. 

It  was  a  most  natural  circumstance  that  came  to  pass  between 
these  two  good  families  of  the  forests,  the  Moores  and  the 

1  "  Connecticut  Colonial  Records."  *  "  Connecticut  Colonial  Records,"  1636-1635. 

*  We  may  conclude  that  his  conduct  improved,  as  in  1652  he  was  granted  liberty  by  the  town 
"  to  be  entertained  by  William  Hayden  in  his  family." 
«  Edward  Eggleston  in  The  Century,  1884. 


Drakes,  who  were  knitted  together  by  the  common  bond  of 
religious  fervor  and  voluntary  exiles  from  their  motherland,  that 
Deacon  John  Moore's  daughter,  Hannah,  became  the  wife  of  John 
Drake,  Jr.  Their  marriage  took  place  at  Windsor,  November 
30,  1648. 

The  following  narrative  of  John  Drake,  Sr.'s,  sudden  death, 
which  occurred  on  the  iyth  of  August,  1659,  is  taken  from  the 
ancient  Town  Records  at  Windsor: 

"  Mr.  John  Drake,  Sr.,  dyed  accidentally,  as  he  was  driving  a 
cart  loaded  with  corn  to  carry  from  his  house  to  his  son  Jacob's. 
The  cattle  being  2  oxen  and  his  mare,  in  the  highway  against 
John  Griffin's,  something  scared  the  cattle,  and  they  set  a  run- 
ning, and  he  labored  to  stop  them  by  taking  hold  on  the  mare, 
was  thrown  upon  his  face  and  the  cart  wheele  went  over  him 
and  broke  one  of  his  legs,  and  bruised  his  body  so  that  he  was 
taken  up  dead;  being  carried  into  his -daughter's  house  had  life 
come  again,  but  dyed  in  a  short  time,  and  was  buried  on  the  i8th 
day  of  August,  1659." 

Elizabeth  Drake  survived  her  husband  twenty-two  years,  and 
died  October  7,  1681,  at  the  ripe  old  age  of  one  hundred  years. 
In  the  last  years  of  her  life  she  was  ministered  to  by  her  son 
Jacob  and  his  family.  She  was  one  of  those  mothers  of  colonial 
times  of  whom  it  has  been  said  :  "  From  the  time  when  that  '  faire 
maide,'  Mary  Chilton,  first  leaped  upon  the  rock  at  Plymouth,  to 
the  present  day,  their  influence  has  been  an  important  element 
in  our  national  character."  Mrs.  Sigourney  beautifully  portrays 
them:  "On  the  unfloored  hut,  she  who  had  been  nurtured  amid 
the  rich  carpets  and  the  curtains  of  the  motherland,  rocked 
her  babe  and  complained  not.  She  who  in  the  home  of  her  youth 
had  arranged  the  gorgeous  shades  of  embroidery,  or,  perchance, 
had  compounded  the  rich  venison  pastry  as  her  share  in  the 
housekeeping,  now  pounded  the  coarse  Indian  corn  for  her 
children's  bread,  and  bade  them  ask  God's  blessing  ere  they  took 
their  scanty  portions.  When  the  snows  sifted  through  their 
miserable  rooftrees  upon  her  little  one,  she  gathered  them  closer 
to  her  bosom;  she  taught  them  the  Bible,  and  the  catechism,  and 
the  holy  hymn,  though  the  war  whoop  of  the  Indian  ran  through 
the  wild.  Amid  the  untold  hardships  of  colonial  life,  she  infused 
new  strength  into  her  husband  by  her  firmness,  and  solaced  his 
weary  hours  by  her  love."  ' 

1  "  History  of  Dorchester,"  by  a  Committee,  p.  142. 


JOHN  DRAKE,  Jr.,  as  has  been  already  stated,  came  with  his 
father  to  America  and  settled  at  Windsor,  Conn.  He  had 
thorough  Puritanic  training  in  the  home  of  his  parents.  Like  his 
father,  the  younger  Drake  was  active  in  the  opening  and  widening 
field  of  western-world  civilization.  He  filled  many  places  of 
public  trust,  and  became  identified  with  the  founding  of  both  the 
towns  of  Windsor  and  Simsbury,  Conn.,  being  among  the  first 
grantees  and  landed  proprietors  in  these  "plantations."  After 
his  marriage  with  Hannah  Moore  in  1648,  he  took  up  his  residence 
in  Windsor.  In  April,  1655,  according  to  the  ancient  record, 
the  "wife  of  John  Drake"  was  "taken  into  full  communion"  in 
the  transplanted  Windsor  church,  the  oldest  orthodox  church 
organization  in  America.  Of  the  names  and  ages  given  of  "Men 
and  Womenkind,"  "set  down"  as  born  and  baptized  in  the  same 
church,  is  a  daughter  whose  birth  is  entered  in  this  wise  :  "Of 
womenkind,  Hanna,  of  John  Drake,  'born  Aug.  5,  1653,  baptized 
April  15,  '55. "'  This  girl  "Hanna,"  as  will  presently  appear, 
grew  to  be  a  notable  woman  in  the  ancestry  of  the  Higleys. 
She  was  one  of  a  family  of  eleven  children,  five  sons  and  six 

At  just  what  period  John  Drake,  Jr.  or  2d,  removed  from 
Windsor  to  Simsbury  is  not  known.  It  appears,  however,  to  have 
been  between  the  years  1672  and  1676 — if  indeed  he  ever  removed 
at  all.  It  is  evident  that  he  remained  a  resident  at  Windsor 
for  several  years  after  he  was  the  owner  of  lands  in  Simsbury. 
Among  the  first  grants  of  lands  at  Massacoe,  the  Indian  name  of 
Simsbury  (1677)  of  which  there  is  any  record,  are  portions  "set 
off  to  John  Drak."  This  was,  no  doubt,  the  younger  Drake,  or 
John  Drake  3d.  Spots  and  places  in  the  latter  town  retained 
the  Drake  name  for  one  hundred  and  fifty  years.  The  hill 
opposite  the  old  Congregational  Church  upon  which  the  residence 
stood  bore  the  name  for  more  than  two  centuries,  and  the 
memories  of  those  who  have  scattered  to  every  part  of  our  broad 
land  from  the  old  town  recur  with  pleasure  to  the  familiar  scenes 
of  their  early  childhood  about  Drake's  Hill  and  Drake's  Brook. 

In  1676  Simsbury  was  on  the  very  edge  of  the  settlements. 
The  Indians  were  fierce  and  menacing,  and  a  general  solicitude 
was  felt  throughout  the  colony  for  the  safety  of  the  inhabitants. 
Finally,  in  the  month  of  March  a  general  order  was  issued  for 
them  to  remove  at  once  for  safety,  and  they  all  left  with  dispatch, 
the  larger  number  fleeing  to  Windsor.  On  Sunday,  the  26th,  the 

»  Old  Church  Record. 


town  was  pillaged  and  burned  by  the  powerful  Phillip  and  his 
dusky  warriors.  Whether  John  Drake  the  elder,  with  his  family, 
was  among  the  number  who  fled  and  did  not  return  is  not  clear. 
It  is  supposed  that  he  was.  His  son,  John  Drake  3d,  returned 
and  spent  his  life  here.  His  name,  with  others,  is  found  signed 
to  a  petition  by  the  owners  of  estates  at  Simsbury  to  the  General 
Assembly  in  the  following  year  (1677),  while  the  town  was  yet 
deserted,  requesting  a  lighter  taxation  on  account  "of  the  late 
afflictive  bereavement,  having  been  greater  sufferers  than  the 
other  plantations  in  the  Colony,"  and  incapacitated  "to  rayse 
rates  in  the  common  way  as  the  law  required."  The  General 
Assembly  granted  the  petition,  exempting  "persons,  land,  and 
cattell,"  for  three  years  from  taxation. 

The  home  life  of  John  Drake,  Jr.'s,  family  (of  Windsor),  of 
which  John  Higley  became  a  member  when  he  landed  from  Eng- 
land, as  indicated  in  the  first  chapter,  was  of  a  Christian  type. 
They  were  strictly  church-loving  people,  and  were  liberal  to  the 
distressed.  The  "distressed,"  however,  belonged  to  other 
colonies,  for  there  were  few  poor  in  Windsor. 

A  report  to  the  General  Government  about  this  time  (1667) 
says:  "The  people,  as  respecting  religious  views,  were  'some 
strict  men,  and  others  more  large  (or  liberal)  Congregational 
men."  Both  law  and  gospel  were  thoroughly  taught  in  John 
Drake's,  as  in  all  the  colonial  homes  of  this  period.  "You 
might  find  in  every  house  a  shelf  upon  which  was  kept  a  large 
Family  Bible,  and  several  other  books  of  a  religious  kind."1 
Regular  family  worship  was  required,  reading  the  Scriptures, 
"catechizing  the  children,"  and  "dayly  prayer,  with  giving  of 
thanks,"  was  to  be  attended  to  conscientiously  by  every  family, 
"  to  distinguish  them  from  the  heathen  whoe  call  not  upon  God. " a 
McClure  states  that  "the  aged  people  among  us  say  that  they 
could  never  learn  that  an  individual  Windsor  Indian  ever  became 
a  Christian." 

These  laws  governing  households  were  by  no  means  a  dead 
letter.  The  select  men  were  vigilant  to  see  that  they  were  put 
into  practice.  If  any  "heads  of  families  were  obstinate  and 
refractory,"  and  would  not  yield  to  the  power  of  persuasion  in 
the  performance  of  these  required  duties,  the  grand  jury  were  to 

1  From  that  time  to  this  the  most  popular  of  all  religious  books  has  been  the  Puritans'  allegory 
of  "  The  Pilgrim's  Progress,"  and  the  most  popular  of  all  English  poems,  the  Puritan  epic  of  the 
"  Paradise  Lost." — History  of  the  English  People,  by  J.  R.  Green,  p.  582. 

*  "  Connecticut  Colonial  Records,"  1665-77. 


present  such  persons  to  the  Court  to  be  fined  or  punished.  The 
fine  in  every  instance  of  neglect  was  twenty  shillings. 

The  Capital  Laws  were  required  to  be  taught  weekly  in  every 
household,  and  legal  surveillance  demanded  that  all  persons  should 
attend  church  services,  not  only  upon  the  Sabbath  day,  but  all 
thanksgivings  and  days  of  fasting  and  prayer,  on  penalty  of  a  fine. 

A  young  man  might  not  "board  or  sojourn  "  in  a  family  without 
permission  granted  by  the  Town  Meeting;  and  it  was  "Alsoe, 
Ordered,  that  all  such  boarders  or  sojourners  as  doe  live  in 
families  shall  carefully  attend  the  worship  of  God  in  those 
families  where  they  so  sojourn,  and  bee  subjected  to  the  domes- 
ticall  government  of  the  family,  upon  the  penalty  of  forfeiting 
five  shillings  for  every  breach  of  this  order."  ' 

Such  was  the  discipline  of  the  household  of  which  John  Higley 
became  a  member  when  he  landed  in  America. 

John  Drake,  Jr.,  the  head  of  this  hospitable  home,  died  at 
Windsor,  the  place  of  his  residence,  in  the  latter  part  of  Sep- 
tember, 1689.  His  will  was  made  on  the  izth  of  the  month  just 
before  his  decease.  The  inventory  was  taken  October  31,  1689,  and 
amounted  to  ^223  25.*  The  father  and  son  died  near  together. 

His  son,  John  Drake  of  Simsbury,  who  had  been  John  Higley's 
close  companion  since  first  they  met,  died  on  the  gth  of  July 
(1689)  preceding  his  father's  death.  He  was  one  of  the  very 
early  settlers  at  Simsbury,  where  he  resided  until  his  decease. 
The  tombstone  which  marks  his  grave  is  the  oldest  in  the  ancient 
cemetery,  and  has  stood  for  more  than  two  hundred  years.  The 
following  is  its  inscription  : 

fjere  Xe^s 

Gbe  :©OOE  of  Hobn  SJrafee  limbo 
Departed  Cbis  ILifc 
tb  1688  ageo39 

"  O  mind  then  man,  thy  life's  a  fpan 

look  here  &  learn  To  dye 
how  soon  yt  death  can  ftop  thy  breath 
then  comes  Eternity." 

The  inventory  of   his  estate   was  taken  by  John  Higley  and 
Thomas  Barber.     His  property  was  valued  at  ^393  155.  4 

I  "  Connecticut  Colonial  Records,"  1665,  p.  77. 

II  "  Hartford  Probate  Records,"  book  v.  pp.  24,  25. 

a  This  date  is  an  error.     John  Drake,  3d,  died  July  9,  1689,  as  recorded  in  "  Simsbury  Records," 
book  i.    Also  as  shown  by  his  Will. 

4  "  Simsbury  Record  of  Grants,"  book  i.  pp.  80,  82. 



It  is  a  deep  mystery — the  way  the  heart  of  a  man  turns  to  one  woman  out  of  all  the  rest  he's 
seen  i'  the  world,  and  makes  it  easier  for  him  to  work  seven  years  for  her,  like  Jacob  did  for 
Rachel,  sooner  than  have  any  other  woman  for  th'  asking. — GEORGE  ELIOT. 

JOHN  HIGLEY  had  ready  adaptability,  and  soon  accustomed 
himself  to  the  interests  and  habits  of  the  well-ordered  household 
of  the  Drakes.  His  infantile  years  had  passed  during  the  event- 
ful time  of  Cromwell's  reign.  Charles  I.  was  beheaded  the  year 
he  was  born.  Until  he  was  eight  years  old,  he  no  doubt  fre- 
quented the  home  of  his  grandfather,  the  Rev.  John  Brewster 
(for  whom  he  was  probably  named),  when  "  England  was  greatly 
stirred,  and  eager  debates  and  heated  arguments  on  Puritanical 
subjects  were  continually  taking  place  m  every  household," 
especially  those  associated  with  ecclesiastical  affairs.  The  time 
lapsing  between  eight  and  sixteen  years  of  age,  following  his 
grandfather's  death,  great  events  had  been  passing.  Charles  II. 
had  come  to  the  throne.  "  Puritanism  had  been  well-nigh 
silenced  under  stern  repression.  The  Revolution  and  great 
changes  had  taken  place  in  the  social  world."  ' 

Though  young  in  years  we  may  well  conclude  that  his  quick 
perception  and  naturally  sagacious  mind  had  fully  taken  in  a 
good  many  of  these  things  that  were  passing.  "  On  the  restora- 
tion of  Charles  II.  to  the  throne,  religious  despotism  with  merci- 
less energy  was  revived." 

The  sight  which  John  Higley  had  seen  before  he  left  England, 
"of  pious  and  learned  clergymen  driven  from  their  homes,  and 
their  flocks  ;  of  religious  meetings  broken  up  by  constables  ;  of 
preachers  put  side  by  side  with  thieves  and  outcasts  ;  of  jails 
crammed  with  honest  enthusiasts  whose  piety  was  their  only 
crime,"  *  must  have  left  a  deep  impression  on  his  youthful  mind. 

No  lad  of  sixteen  years  with  his  lively  intellect  could  have  been 
ignorant  of  the  iron  hand  which  was  laid  without  mercy  upon  the 
Quakers  during  this  time  (1662-65).  "The  fires  of  persecution 

1  Extracts  from  Green's  "  History  of  the  English  People." 
3  "  History  of  the  English  People,"  by  J.  R.  Green,  p.  609. 


were  hot,"  says  Sewell.  The  victims  were  flogged  in  the  streets; 
husbands  and  wives  were  separated  and  condemned  to  transpor- 
tation; they  were  distrained  of  their  property,  and  large  numbers 
were  banished  to  strange  countries.1  "  In  1662  the  returns  from 
their  meetings  throughout  England  showed  that  between  four  and 
five  thousand  were  then  lying  in  prison "  merely  for  religion's 
sake."  "These  prisons  were  cold,  leaky,  and  filthy,  and  many 
men  and  women  had  nothing  but  a  board  to  lie  upon."  Many 
were  relieved  only  by  death.3 

It  may  have  been  that  these  measures,  taken  against  inof- 
fensive peace-loving  religionists,  not  only  touched  John  Higley's 
tender  and  sensitive  nature,  but  kindled  a  strong  instinctive  sense 
of  their  unjust  treatment,  which  had  the  effect  of  giving  him  the 
tolerant  spirit,  and  which  rooted  in  him  the  idea  of  the  indi- 
vidual liberty  of  every  man,  with  which  he  was  endowed  in 
after  life. 

The  summer  previous  to  leaving  London  he  had  witnessed  the 
awful  devastation  of  the  Plague  (1665),  a  never-to-be-forgotten 
period  of  his  life.  Death  reigned  in  the  streets.  Entire  families 
were  swept  away.  Citizens  who  were  apparently  in  health  in  the 
morning,  were  found  dead  in  the  afternoon.  Sewell  relates  that 
"  the  city  became  so  emptied  that  grass  grew  in  those  streets  that 
used  to  be  so  populous,  few  people  being  seen  by  the  way.  Thus 
the  city  became  a  desert,  and  the  misery  was  great.  Great  fires 
were  kindled  in  the  streets  to  purify  the  contagious  air  ;  but  no 
relief  was  found  by  it,  for  in  the  latter  end  of  September  there 
died  in  London  alone  eight  thousand  people  in  one  week,  as  I 
remember  to  have  seen  in  one  of  the  bills  of  mortality  of  that 
time.  There  was  little  to  be  earned  by  the  tradesmen.  Travel- 
ing in  the  country  was  stopped."  "  The  plagues  of  the  Lord  fell 
heavily,"  continues  the  narrator.  "It  is  stated  that  the  entire 
number  of  deaths  during  that  fatal  summer  exceeded  sixty-eight 
thousand."  De  Foe,  in  his  story  of  the  Plague,  mentions  "  glove- 
makers"  among  other  tradesmen  whose  establishments  were 
closed.  It  was  one  of  these  to  whom  John  Higley  was  apprenticed. 
It  is  reasonable  to  suppose  that  he  returned  for  the  time  to  his 
mother's  cottage-home  in  Frimley,  though  here  was  no  safe  refuge, 
for  the  destroying  pestilence  mowed  down  the  inhabitants  of  the 

1  "  History  of  the  People  called  Quakers,"  by  William  Sewell. 

9  "  The  Fells  of  Swalhmore." 

'  "  History  of  the  People  called  Quakers,"  by  William  Sewell. 


suburbs  adjacent  to  London,  and  "blasted  into  voiceless  and  life- 
less desolation  "  many  of  the  beautiful  valleys  in  the  vicinity. 

But  our  reader  will  remember  that  it  was  neither  religious  per- 
secution, nor  political  principles,  nor  the  destroying  pestilence, 
that  exiled  the  lad  from  his  native  shores.  The  boy  no  doubt 
often  experienced  in  his  new  life  in  the  western  world  a  strange 
yearning  rising  within  him,  for  the  glen  in  which  he  was  born. 
He  may  have  had  many  a  longing  look  toward  the  stars  that  were 
twinkling  above  his  mother  home  and  the  group  assembled  there. 
Sometimes  when  among  the  solitudes  there  may  have  fallen  upon 
his  heart  a  shade  of  melancholy,  as  memory  brought  before  his 
face  the  boy-friends  and  associates  whom  he  had  left  behind. 

But  he  was  not  disappointed  in  his  American  home.  He  was 
admitted  to  the  family  as  one  of  its  number,  and  became  a 
favorite  in  the  household.  Soon  an  intimacy  sprang  up  between 
the  young  English  stranger  and  the  young  people  of  John  Drake's 
house.  The  eldest  son  was  near  his  own  age — two  months 
younger — and  Hannah,  the  eldest  daughter,  was  a  bright  girl  in 
her  teens  just  enough  his  junior  to  be  interesting.  As  a  matter  of 
course  they  were  brought  into  daily  association. 

The  time  came  when  the  large  heart  of  the  stripling  was  no 
longer  his  own.  He  saw  in  Hannah  Drake  all  that  was  worth 
living  and  striving  for,  and  if  she,  in  her  maidenly  reserve,  had 
resolved  not  to  allow  herself  to  be  ensnared  by  his  handsome 
appearance  and  good  qualities,  her  resolution  did  not  hold  out. 
The  young  lovers  came  to  an  understanding,  to  which  her  parents 
appear  to  have  freely  consented. 

But  the  affairs  of  true  love  were  sometimes  fraught  with  great 
difficulties  in  those  days,  as  they  are  in  these.  The  hard  old 
taskmaster  in  England  was  yet  alive,  and  the  unexpired  appren- 
ticeship from  which  young  John  had  fled  lay  unsettled.  Besides 
this,  the  Article  of  Indenture  under  which  he  had  been  appren- 
ticed read,  "  No  Apprentice  shall  contract  Matrimony  within  the 
said  term  of  apprenticeship."1  The  colonial  law  also  imposed 
a  penalty  upon  "both  male  and  female  not  being  at  his  or  her 
own  disposal,"  who  should  "either  make  or  give  entertainment 
to  any  suit  in  way  of  marriage  without  the  knowledge  and  con- 
sent of  surviving  parents,  masters,  or  guardians,  or  such  like. "  a 

1  From  Book  of  Old  English  Laws. 
a  "  Connecticut  Colonial  Records,"  1643. 

The  following  law  was  enacted  by  the  General  Court  June  3,  1644,  which  had  not  then  been 
repealed  : 


The  wide  Atlantic  lay  between  him  and  his  mother,  and  these 
formidable  obstructions  to  his  future  happiness.  However,  it 
was  not  probable  that  one  of  his  earnest  nature,  and  of  the  force 
that  was  born  in  him,  would  be  deterred  by  barriers.  His  first 
step  was  to  pen  a  carefully  written  letter  to  his  mother  stating 
his  case.  We  may  easily  imagine  the  young  lover  in  the  attic 
of  the  rough-hewed  wooden  house  of  early  colonial  days,  with 
anxious  heart  and  puzzled  brain,  straining  every  nerve  to  put  upon 
paper  just  the  proper  thing  to  be  said,  which  would  insure  her 
favor,  and  her  mediation  between  the  offended  employer  and  him- 
self. Then  the  uncertainty  of  receiving  a  favorable  answer  to 
his  petition  arose  in  his  mind.  Another  plan  came  into  his 
devising  brain.  Success  was  already  crowning  his  labor,  and  with 
his  savings  he  would  return  to  England  the  bearer  of  his  own 
letter,  visit  his  mother,  and  settle  all  claims.  Instigated  by  the 
noblest  spirit  of  life,  with  his  heart  set  upon  an  idol-love,  he  was 
off  at  once.  He  retraced  his  way  across  the  wide  ocean  to  his 
English  home. 

In  those  days  is  was  a  serious  undertaking  to  cross  the  Atlantic. 
It  required  fifty-one  days  to  make  the  passage.  Ocean  steamers 
were  as  yet  unknown.  The  journey  occupied  more  than  four 
months.  Landing  safely  in  England,  he  reached  Frimley  and 
gazed  once  more  upon  familiar  scenes.  He  soon  crossed  the 
threshold  of  his  mother's  home.  The  tall,  well-formed  man, 
roughed  in  personal  appearance  by  forest-life  in  the  New  World, 
and  bronzed  by  the  winds  of  a  seven  weeks'  sea  voyage,  did  not 
closely  resemble  the  glover's  apprentice  boy  whose  sudden  dis- 
appearance had  caused  such  consternation  five  years  previous. 
He  placed  his  letter,  which  contained  the  declaration  of  his  true 
and  honest  heart,  into  her  hand,  unrecognized.  As  she  read  it, 
she  wept — then  glanced  at  the  stranger  before  her,  and  read 
again.  Then,  another  scrutinizing  glance.  Maternal  instinct  is 
subtle  and  keen. 

Advancing  to  his  side  she  parted  his  hair  and  pierced  all  dis- 
guises; for  she  discovered  a  well-known  mark,  a  scar  that  he 
received  by  a  fall  on  the  stairs  when  he  was  ten  years  of  age, 

"  Whereas  many  stubborn,  refractory,  and  discontented  servants  and  apprentices  withdraw  them- 
selves from  their  masters'  services,  to  improve  their  time  to  their  own  advantage  ;  for  the  prevent- 
ing thereof  I 

"  It  is  Ordered,  that  Whatsoever  servant  or  apprentice  shall  hereafter  offend  in  that  kynd,  before 
their  covenant  or  term  of  service  are  expired,  shall  serve  their  said  masters,  as  they  shall  be  appre- 
hended or  retained  the  treble  term,  or  threefold  time  of  their  absence  in  such  kynd."— O»- 
necticut  Colonial  Records. 


which  left  a  deep  cut  high  on  his  forehead  that  he  carried  through 
life.  "John,  you  rogue  !  Is  this  you  ?"  she  exclaimed,  and  rais- 
ing her  hand  she  gave  his  ear  a  sound  cuffing. 

Gladness  and  joy  were  in  the  village-home  that  night.  The 
evening  was  given  to  quiet  chat  about  the  boy's  life.  Like  other 
mothers,  since  the  world  began,  she  affectionately  entered  into  the 
interesting  plans  and  future  career  which  were  opening  for  her 
son.  A  satisfactory  settlement  was  made  with  his  former  master, 
and  after  a  short  visit  he  returned  to  America.1 

In  Windsor,  Conn.,  the  town  of  his  adoption,  he  married 
Hannah  Drake  on  the  pth  of  November,  1671. 

1  The  main  incidents  concerning  the  courtship  and  marriage  of  John  Higley  and  Hannah  Drake 
are  drawn  from  the  best  sources.  It  is  an  interesting  fact  that  there  have  been  venerable  grand- 
parents, hale  and  hearty,  whose  years  of  early  manhood  were  contemporary  with  some  of  John  Hig- 
ley's  sons  and  daughters,  and  whose  lives  extended  to  the  middle  of  the  present  century,  bridging 
the  gap  between  that  era  and  descendants  now  living,  to  whom  it  was  their  delight  to  recount  the 
interesting  story.  These  channels,  with  the  traditions  gathered  from  nearly  every  branch  of  the 
family  now  widely  scattered  in  many  different  sections  of  our  country,  many  groups  of  whom  had 
no  knowledge  of  each  other  until  recent  time,  together  with  old  scraps  and  papers  written  nearly 
a  half  a  century  ago,  all  agree  upon  these  points — that  of  the  apprenticed  runaway  lad,  the 
circumstances  under  which  he  came  to  America,  and  his  romantic  love  story  as  related  above. — THE 


EARLY    MARRIED    LIFE    OF    CAPTAIN    JOHN    HIGLEY,    1671-78. 

"First  Gent.  All  times  are  good  to  seek  your  wedded  home 
Bringing  to  a  mutual  delight. 

"  Second  Gent.  Why,  true, 

The  calendar  hath  not  an  evil  day 
For  souls  made  one  by  love,  and  even  death 
Were  sweetness,  if  it  came  like,  rolling  waves 
While  they  two  clasped  each  other,  and  foresaw 
No  life  apart." 

AFTER  their  marriage  John  Higley  and  his  young  wife  took  up 
their  residence  upon  the  eastern  shore  of  "  Ye  Great  River  " — 
the  Connecticut.  The  attention  of  the  grandfather,  Deacon 
John  Moore,  Captain  Benjamin  Newberry,  and  others  had  been 
fixed  upon  the  rich  meadows  on  that  side  of  the  river,  and  they 
had  already  secured  large  grants  of  land  which  were  considered 
"among  their  most  important  and  valuable  interests."  Deacon 
Moore  possessed  an  ownership  in  one  tract  of  about  four  hundred 

"  Until  a  few  years  previous  these  lands  were  not  occupied 
except  as  a  pasturage  for  their  cattle,  and  some  small  pieces  for 
mowing.  Tempting  as  were  the  advantages  offered  by  its  broad 
expanse  of  fertile  meadow,  there  were  obstacles  and  dangers  in  the 
way  of  its  actual  settlement  which  could  be  neither  overlooked 
nor  rashly  encountered.  The  broad  stream  of  the  Great  River, 
at  all  times  an  inconvenient  highway,  was  in  the  winter  season, 
when  not  frozen  over,  almost  impassable  with  ice  and  drift.  It 
was  also  a  serious  barrier  to  social  intercourse  and  mutual  aid  or 
protection,  while  its  annual  freshets  obliged  them  to  build  on  the 
uplands  at  a  considerable  distance  from  its  banks,  and  conse- 
quently a  greater  remove  from  the  main  settlement."  ' 

"The  Indians  abounded  in  all  that  region,  and  though  these 
river  Indians  were  generally  friendly  and  peaceful,  yet  there 
were  warning  signs  and  tokens  which  made  families  fearful  about 
taking  up  their  residence  at  points  remote  from  the  main  body  of 

1  Stiles'  "  History  of  Ancient  Windsor,"  p.  221. 


settlers."  '  It  is  stated  that  there  were  ten  distinct  tribes  within 
the  boundaries  of  the  township  of  Windsor,  and,  says  Stiles,  "the 
greater  number  resided  on  the  east  side  of  the  Connecticut 
River."  The  repeated  enactments  by  the  General  Assembly  for 
many  years  about  this  time,  as  measures  of  protection  against 
these  savages,  evidences  the  constant  danger  of  the  scalping- 
knife  and  tomahawk  to  which  the  inhabitants  of  the  young  settle- 
ment were  subjected.  However,  "a  number  of  middle-aged  or 
young  married  men,  urged  by  the  adventurous  spirit  of  the  day, 
or  by  the  necessity  of  larger  accommodations  for  their  growing 
families,  crossed  the  river  and  built  their  humble  dwellings  along 
the  uplands  which  overlooked  the  meadows."  2 

Among  these  were  John  Higley  and  his  wife  Hannah.  In  the 
"List  of  Persons  on  the  East  side  of  Ye  Great  River,"  who  were 
appointed  to  make  some  improvements  on  a  road,  in  June,  1672, 
the  name  of  our  enterprising  John  is  on  record. 

The  same  year  Major  Pyncheon,  in  his  account  book,  entered 
the  following: 

"1672.  The  charge  and  cost  of  my  saw-mill  at  Stony-River. 
Viewing  and  searching  for  a  place,  alsoe  hiring  John  Higley  to 
discover,  &c.  .  .  likewise  myselfe  and  my  expence  with  you, 
and  feriage  &c  wch  come  to,  ^i :  o8s  :  ood."  ' 

Out  of  this  amount  the  "discoverer  "  of  the  suitable  location 
for  the  saw-mill  was  probably  paid  his  share  of  the  "  charges  and 
costs  "  for  his  time  and  labor. 

Young  married  people  in  those  days  set  out  upon  their  own 
responsibility,  and  the  first  proceeding  after  their  wedding 
festivities  was  to  found  their  own  hearthstone.  It  was  custom- 
ary for  the  young  man  to  build  a  house  before  marriage.  From 
the  houses  of  the  early  settlers  of  the  times  we  catch  a  glimpse 
of  the  first  dwelling  which  furnished  the  rude  home  comforts  of 
this  youthful  pair.  They  were  made  entirely  of  untrimmed  logs. 
Scarcely  an  implement  was  used  in  their  construction  other  than 
the  ax  and  auger.  The  rough,  wooden,  eighteen-inch  shingles 
called  clapboards,  which  formed  the  roof,  the  floors,  and  doors, 
were  hewn  out  of  logs,  and  were  undressed  and  unplaned,  and 
fastened  into  their  places  by  wooden  pins.  It  is,  however, 
barely  possible  that  the  occupants  of  this  simple  home  in  ques- 

1  "  History  of  Hartford  County,"  by  J.  Hammond  Trumbull,  p.  107. 

*  Stiles'  "  History  of  Ancient  Windsor,"  p.  233. 

*  "  Documentary  History  of  Suffield,"  by  M.  S.  Sheldon. 


tion  may  have  enjoyed  the  luxury  of  doors  and  floors  of  sawed 
plank  procured  at  the  saw-mill  after  it  was  established,  though  it 
was  about  eight  miles  distant  through  the  dense  woods.  The 
door  was  hung  upon  wooden  hinges  and  closed  with  a  wooden 
latch.  There  were  few  nails  used,  for  there  were  none  to  be  had 
except  those  hammered  one  by  one  upon  the  anvil  of  the  neigh- 
borhood blacksmith. 

The  chimney,  huge  in  dimensions  when  compared  with  the 
building  itself,  was  built  against  the  house  upon  the  outside.  It 
was  built  of  sticks  and  thoroughly  plastered  with  clay.  Im- 
mense fires  of  logs,  taken  from  the  dense  forests  surrounding  the 
house,  were  kept  constantly  going,  and  were  a  necessity  to  keep 
the  occupants  of  the  dwelling  even  in  tolerable  comfort  in  winter 
weather.  The  sweeping  winds  whistled  between  the  logs  which 
constituted  the  side  walls  of  the  apartment,  it  came  in  under- 
neath the  door,  and  from  the  cracks  in  the  floor,  with  chilling 

The  windows  were  small,  and  there  was  no  window  glass. 
"Bring  oiled  paper  for  your  windows,"  writes  one  of  the 
Plymouth  pilgrims  to  some  who  were  about  to  come  over.  Oiled 
paper  for  a  long  time  let  a  dusky  light  into  the  obscure  rooms 
of  many  settlers'  houses.  About  1700  "window  shasts  with 
crystal  " — that  is,  with  glass  that  one  could  see  through — are 
spoken  of  as  a  luxury.  Carpets  were  hardly  known  at  all  in 
America  until  seventy-five  years  after  this  period.1  The  floor 
of  the  cottage  log  dwelling  was  therefore  carpetless. 

On  the  i6th  of  August,  1673,  the  birth  of  John  Higley's  first 
child  is  recorded.  He  was  given  the  name  of  his  father,  John, 
and  on  February  16,  1675,  the  birth  of  the  second  child  is 
announced,  called  Jonathan,  probably  in  honor  of  his  grand- 
father Higley,  who  was  laid  in  his  moss-covered  grave  in  Frimley 
churchyard,  England,  more  than  ten  years  before. 

Windsor  now  contained  about  one  hundred  families.  On  Sun- 
days the  people  residing  on  the  east  side  of  the  Connecticut 
crossed  the  river  in  boats  to  attend  church  service.  It  was  no 
small  undertaking  to  get  the  family  in  readiness  and  over  the 
distance  between  their  home  and  the  ferry,  then  await  the  ferry- 
man to  bring  them  across  the  deep,  swift,  angry  stream,  which  in 
some  seasons  of  the  year  was  filled  with  floating  ice,  causing  the 
passage  to  be  attended  with  danger.  Strict  laws,  by  decree  of 

1  "  The  Colonist  at  Home,"  by  Edward  Eggleston,  The  Century,  1884-85. 


Court,  governed  this  ferry.  But  thirty-seven  persons  were  per- 
mitted to  cross  at  one  time,  the  number  exceeding  this  must 
stand  upon  the  banks  and  await  their  turn.  And  yet  the  select- 
men were  ever  on  the  alert,  and  if  each  household  did  not 
appear  at  the  place  of  worship  it  was  liable  to  a  fine.  To 
announce  the  hour  of  service  a  drum  was  beaten.  The  towns- 
people were  not  in  possession  of  a  church-bell,  and  for  more 
than  one  hundred  years  after  these  times,  it  was  the  practice  for 
a  man  employed  by  the  town  "for  the  beating  of  the  drume  on 
ye  Sabboth  dayes  "  l  to  ascend  to  the  roof  of  the  church,  where 
a  footwalk  was  constructed,  and  sound  a  trumpet  or  a  drum,  "  to 
give  warning  to  ye  inhabitants  when  to  begin  meting." 

We  fancy  that  we  see  our  John  in  the  saddle  upon  the  back  of 
the  family  horse,  with  little  John  in  front  of  him,  and  his  wife 
Hannah,  behind,  clinging  to  him  with  one  arm,  while  with  the 
other  she  held  baby  Jonathan  to  her  bosom,  wending  their  way  on 
a  quiet  Sabbath  morning  to  the  house  of  worship.  The  saddle 
horse,  if  taken  across  the  river,  was  led  swimming  alongside  the 
ferryboat,  and  tied  to  a  tree  close  to  the  church  with  scores  of 

The  sermon  was  long,  usually  from  an  hour  and  a  half  to  two 
hours,  and  was  the  principal  event  of  the  week  for  discussion. 

King  Phillip's  Indian  war  followed  soon  after  the  birth  of  John 
Higley's  second  child.  The  year  1675  was  a  stormy  one  for  the 
Connecticut  colonists.  Both  social  and  political  surroundings 
were  full  of  intense  excitement  and  increased  dangers.  Rumors 
of  Indian  plots  "for  the  distruction  of  the  English"  were  con- 
stantly reaching  the  ears  of  the  inhabitants,  together  with 
reports  of  the  hostilities  of  the  Dutch  at  New  York,  and  the  "un- 
warrantable practices  "  and  uneasiness  given  by  Major  Andros. 
"The  distressed  condition  of  our  neighbors  and  countrymen  on 
Long  Island"  was  also  a  source  of  solicitude.  "It  was  a  time 
of  difficulty  with  us,"1  say  they,  on  the  loth  of  July,  1675.  So 
threatening  was  the  aspect  of  affairs,  and  so  great  was  the  need 
of  men,  that  the  General  Assembly  ordered  that  if  any  one  de- 
serted the  colony  who  was  "above  fourteen  years  of  age,  or 
under  seventy,  he  should  pay  a  fine  of  one  hundred  pounds,  and 
be  "liable  to  corporal  punishment."  ' 

"The  young  settlement  [on  the  east  side  of  the  river]  had  but 
just  fairly  commenced,"  says  Stiles,  "when  great  fear  fell  upon 

1  "  Connecticut  Colonial  Records." 


the  land.  Danger  lurked  in  every  bush,  and  peered  from  behind 
every  tree;  their  houses  were  scattered,  their  numbers  few;  the 
Indians  numerous;  and  the  broad  stream  of  the  Long  River  cut 
them  off  from  any  immediate  help  from  their  friends  and  neigh- 
bors on  the  west  side. 

"In  that  hour  of  anxious  fear  and  torturing  suspense  they  felt 
that  'in  union  there  was  strength.'  Many  removed  to  the 
opposite  side  of  the  river,  and  those  who  remained  carried  their 
4  lives  in  their  hands."  Finally  the  inhabitants  on  the  eastern 
side  of  the  Connecticut  were  ordered  '  forthwith '  to  remove 
themselves,  with  their  cattle  and  grain,  to  the  west  side;  and 
garrison  houses  were  ordered  to  be  kept  for  the  protection  of  the 
few  who  were  obliged  to  remain.  In  fact  the  settlement  was 
temporarily  broken  up  and  dispersed."  * 

We  are  assured  that  John  Higley  was  found  bearing  his  part  in 
the  defense  and  safety  of  the  homes,  though  there  is  no  record 
of  conspicuous  service.  He  was  now  a  man  twenty-eight  years 
of  age,  strong  and  able-bodied,  and  it  was  evident  that  he  was 
early  put  into  military  training.  It  had  been  required  by  law  for 
many  years  that,  "All  persons  above  the  age  of  sixteen  years, 
except  magistrates  and  church  officials,  shall  beare  arms."2 
They  were  required  to  have  "in  continual  readiness  a  good 
musket  or  other  gun  fit  for  service,"  with  "a  sword  rest  and 
brandaleers,"  and  ammunition  kept  in  good  order.2  At  this  time, 
all  the  men  were  impressed  into  military  service  on  sentinel 
duty.  Regular  watches,  consisting  of  one-fourth  of  the  men  of 
the  town,  were  appointed,  the  watch  continuing  from  the  "shut- 
ting in  of  the  evening  till  sunrise."  It  was  "Ordered,  that  no 
man  walk  about  singly,"  and  they  might  not  work  in  fields 
except  in  groups  of  six  together,  with  guns  at  hand,  "  well  fixed 
and  fitted  for  service."*  Everyman  was  obliged  to  go  constantly 
fully  armed,  and  stand  ready  night  and  day  to  do  battle.  They 
slept  upon  their  weapons,  and  as  had  been  a  custom,  they  carried 
them  to  church.  Scouts  were  constantly  kept  in  service,  and 
were  required  to  be  on  duty  "  by  sun  an  hower  high  in  each  day." 

1  Stiles'  "  History  of  Ancient  Windsor." 

2  "  Connecticut  Colonial  Records." 

3  In  October,  1675,  "  Ordered,  to  joyne  together  to  gather  the  Indian  corn  and  bring  it  on  ye  west 
sideof  ye  Great  River,  into  places  of  best  security."     In  November,  "Ordered  to  kill  and  salt  up 
what  of  their  cattell  were  fitt  to  kill  and  secure  it  in  the  best  places  they  could  from  the  enemie  " 
— to  thresh  and  bake  up  their  wheat  into  bread,  "  for  use  of  the  soldiers  on  gaurdfor  our  defence." 
"  Ordered,  that  200  bushells  of  wheat  be  baked  into  biskit  with  all  the  speed  that  may  be,  and 
200  bushalls  of  oats  for  the  army,"— Connecticut  Colonial  Records. 



As  the  year  neared  its  close,  troops  from  the  different  colonies 
were  called  together  and  a  successful  contest  followed  on  the 
evening  of  December  19,  1675,  at  Pettyquamsquot,  in  the  north- 
east part  of  Connecticut,  where  the  Indians  had  taken  refuge  in 
a  log-constructed  barricade.  The  struggle  was  ended  by  a  bloody 
fight;  the  soldiers  set  fire  to  the  rude  stockade,  and  burned  with- 
out mercy  warriors,  squaws,  helpless  old  red-skins,  and  children, 
in  one  mass  of  flame. 

It  is  stated  that  "three-hundred  warriors  were  slain,  and 
nearly  the  same  number  taken  prisoners,  including  women  and 
children.  The  entire  number  -of  Indians  thought  to  have  been 
inside  the  fortress  numbered  into  thousands.  Those  who  were 
not  consumed  or  taken  prisoners,  fled  to  the  swamps,  where  they 
spent  the  cold  winter  night  without  food,  fire,  or  covering."  "  It 
was  cold  and  stormy,"  says  one  narrator,  "the  snow  fell  deep, 
and  it  was  not  until  after  midnight  the  army  got  in." 

The  MS.  of  the  Rev.  Thomas  Ruggles  says:  "The  burning 
of  the  wigwams,  the  shrieks  and  cries  of  the  women  and  children, 
and  the  yelling  of  the  warriors,  exhibited  a  most  horrible  and 
affecting  scene,  so  that  it  greatly  moved  some  of  the  soldiers. 
They  were  in  doubt  then,  and  afterwards  often  seriously  inquired, 
whether  burning  their  enemies  alive  could  be  consistent  with 
humanity  and  the  benevolent  principles  of  the  gospel."  1 

At  the  following  May  session  of  the  General  Assembly  (1676) 
— our  worthy  Deacon  Moore  being  a  member  for  Windsor — there 
was  a  reiteration  of  some  of  the  laws  bearing  upon  subjects  of 
a  social  and  moral  nature"  indicating  that  the  recent  trials  through 
which  they  had  passed  were  the  cause  of  awakening  the  colony 
to  a  greater  degree  of  devotion.  The  last  day  of  the  month  was 

1  "  History  of  Hartford  County,"  by  J.  Hammond  Trumbull. 

2  It  was  Ordered,  "  If  any  persons  on  Saturday  night  or  the  Lord's  Day,  though  it  be  after 
sun-sett,"  were  found  "sporting  in  the  fields,  or  drinking  in  houses  of  public  entertainment  or 
elsewhere,"  should  be  subject  to  fine  or  to  "suffer  corporall  judgment."     "  Noe  serville  worke" 
was  to  be  done  on  the  Sabbath,  "  such  as  were  not  workes  of  piety,  necessity,  or  charity."     "  Noe 
profane  talke"  was  allowed,  nor  "  irreverent  behavior." 

Ministers  were  strongly  recommended  "  to  look  into  the  state  of  families."  "  Noe  person  "  was 
to  "  retayle  any  less  quantity  than  an  anchor  of  drink  at  a  time  without  special  lycence."  "  Dilli- 
gent  search"  was  to  be  made  by  all  constables  and  grand  jurymen  for  all  transgressions  of  this 
order.  Special  "  care  and  notice  was  to  be  taken  by  all  persons  frequenting  publique  houses 
and  spending  their  precious  time  there."  "  If  he  be  fownd  in  such  place  and  convicted,"  he  was 
to  be  fined  five  shillings  or  "  sit  in  the  stocks  one  hower  for  every  such  offence."  The  "  sin  of 
uncleanness"  was  "on  the  increase,"  and  ministers  were  recommended  "  to  beare  such  due  tes- 
timonie  against  such  wickedness  according  to  law  (if  it  be  God's  holy  will)  that  such  sin  may  be 

"  Excess  of  Apparell"  also  claimed  the  Court's  attention,  as  "  unbecoming  a  wilderness  condi- 


"  apoynted  to  be  kept  as  a  day  of  Solemn  Humiliation,  of  fasting 
and  prayer."  * 

It  is  reasonable  to  suppose  that  John  Higley  with  his  young 
family  was  of  the  number  who  removed,  when  the  general  order 
to  that  effect  was  given,  to  the  main  settlement  upon  the  west 
side  of  the  river,  where  he  is  found  established  soon  after. 

Amid  the  scenes  of  terror  in  which  they  had  for  many  months 
been  living,  it  does  not  appear  that  his  material  prosperity  had 
been  seriously  interrupted.  His  feet  were  continued  on  the 
ascent.  In  a  'Mist"  of  voluntary  contributions  "made  to  the 
poor  in  want  in  other  colonies  "  in  June  of  the  following  year, 
is  found  the  name  of  "Hana  Higley"  as  having  donated  is.  3d." 
Her  grandfather,  Deacon  Moore,  Sr.,  contributed  6s.  6d.  to 
the  same  fund,  and  was  one  of  a  committee  of  three  appointed 
by  the  General  Council  "to  distribute  according  to  good  dis- 

From  an  old  "Book  of  Rates"  it  appears  that  John  Higley's 
amount  of  list  on  January  25,  1676-77,  was  ^24,  and  his  tax  was 
i6s.  The  following  year,  on  the  2ist  of  January,  his  "List"  is 
recorded  ,£22  and  the  "Rate"  143.  8d.s  From  these  modest 
amounts  he  came  in  after  time  to  be  one  of  the  heaviest  taxpayers 
in  the  colony. 

On  "  March  ye  i4th,  1677-78,"  the  following  was  recorded:  "  A 
Town  meeting  was  held  to  publish  ye  Town  rate  for  ye  year  past, 
and  ye  ferry  tax, — alsoe  John  Higley  is  now  granted  liberty  to 
take  a  parcell  to  bild  on  25  foot  in  length  against  ye  river,  and 
20  foot  in  breadth  ye  other  way.  But  he  must  take  after  ye 
Widdow  Marshall  has  git  out  her  grant,  next  after  George 
Griswold. "  4 

It  was  upon  this  piece  of  land  that  he  erected  a  warehouse. 
His  remarkable  business  and  public  career  was  now  taking  per- 
manent shape. 

tion,  and  the  profession  of  the  gospel,  whereby  the  rising  generation  is  in  danger  of  being  cor- 
rupted." Persons  wearing  "gold  or  silver  lace,  gold  or  silver  buttons,  silk  ribbons,  or  other  super- 
fluous trimmings,  or  any  bone  lace  above  three  shillings  per  yard,  or  silk  scarfs,"  were  required  to 
be  heavily  assessed.  Exception  was  made  to  "  Magistrates,  public  Officers,  their  wives  and  chil- 
dren, who  are  left  to  their  discression,  or  any  settled  Military  Commissioned  Officer,"  and  if  "  any 
taylor  shall  fashion  any  garment  for  any  child  or  servant  contrary  to  the  minde  of  the  parent  or 
master,"  a  fine  was  to  be  imposed. — Connecticut  Colonial  Records. 

1  "  Connecticut  Colonial  Records." 

9  Old  Church  Records,  Windsor,  Conn. 

1 "  Book  of  Rates  and  Town  Meeting  Proceedings,"  Windsor,  167-  to  1683. 

4  "  Windsor  Records,"  book  ii. 


On  the  i3th  of  March,  1677,  Elizabeth,  his  first  daughter,  was 
born,  and  the  same  year  (September)  is  marked  by  the  death  of 
the  grandfather,  Deacon  John  Moore,  who  had  for  more  than 
forty-two  years,  with  true-hearted  devotion,  been  one  among  the 
valuable  lives  of  his  times  ;  having  shared  the  stress  of  sore 
trials  incident  to  those  who  had  cast  their  lot  with  the  new 
colonies,  and  set  going  a  stream  of  civilization  and  progress. 
He  stamped  his  footprint  upon  the  early  annals  of  our  colonial 
history,  and  left  behind  him  a  memory  enriched  by  his  example, 
his  character,  and  his  work. 

The  old  Puritan  heroes  who  came  from  the  motherland  had 
most  of  them  quitted  this  earth  life.  Few  were  left.  His 
honored  friend,  Governor  John  Winthrop,  with  whom  he  was 
a  co-laborer  for  many  years,  died  the  year  preceding,  and  Henry 
Wolcott,  Esq.,  the  most  prominent  citizen  and  his  associate  in 
town  and  colonial  affairs,  had  died  long  before. 

"  They  have  left  unstained  what  there  they  found, 
Freedom  to  worship  God." 



To  be  born  where  great  and  good  men  have  had  their  nativity,  to  live  where  they  have  lived, 
to  be  allied  to  them  by  kin,  is,  as  it  were,  a  patent  of  nobility. — CHARLES  CARLKTON  COFFIN. 

IN  vol.  i.  of  the  ancient  Land  Records  at  Windsor,  Conn.,  is 
found  the  following  entry,  under  date  of  November  4,  1679,  the 
last  part  of  which  seems  to  be  a  confirmation  of  the  former  grant 
of  1677.  "  A  parcell  of  woodland  that  John  Drake  makes  over  to 
his  son-in-law  John  Higley;  it  is  out  of  that  land  he  formerly 
bought  of  Richard  Lyman,  it  Lyes  towards  Hartford  Bounds; 
he  is  to  have  out  of  it  fifteen  acres  of  the  South  end  of  said  Lott. " 
[Here  follow  boundaries]. 

"Alsoe,  he  has  a  parcell  of  Land  whereon  he  has  bilt  his 
Dweling  house,  the  land  was  set  out  to  him  by  his  Grandfather, 
Deacon  Moore,  it  is  one  acre  and  half  of  the  Land  Called  Cow- 
feild."  [Here  follow  boundaries]. 

"Alsoe,  he  hath  a  Small  parcell  of  Land  Granted  him  by  The 
Town  on  the  North  side  of  the  ferry  by  the  Rivulet  to  bild  a 
warehouse  upon;  it  is  set  out  below  the  widow  Marshels's  which 
Lyes  between  it  and  George  Griswold's,  and  this  of  John  Higley's 
is  in  length  on  the  top  of  the  bank  against  the  River,  thirty  foot 
in  length  downward  and  in  breadth  twenty-four  foot." ' 

He  is  now  found  in  possession  of  other  lands,  a  new  dwell- 
ing, and  a  business  house.  After  this  period  his  life  had  to 
do  with  many  diverse  interests.  His  warehouse,  which  was  the 
beginning  of  his  commercial  transactions,  proved  a  channel 
for  his  genius  in  business  and  was  an  element  of  success  and 

Windsor  at  this  time  was  not  merely  a  village  on  the  foreline 
of  western  civilization,  but  was  a  chief  center  for  trade,  and  a 
port  of  entry.  Sailing  vessels  of  sixty,  and  up  to  seventy  tons, 
ascended  the  river  to  this  point,  and  there  was  not  only  a  thriv- 

1  "  Windsor  Land  Records,"  vol.  i.  p.  344. 


ing  coastline  trade,  but  an  extensive  commerce  carried  on  be- 
tween England  and  the  West  Indies. 

It  was  a  day  of  bustle  and  excitement  in  the  streets  when  a 
ship  arrived  from  England.  The  townspeople  turned  out  en 
masse  to  hear  the  news  from  the  old  home-country,  and  spectators 
lined  the  shores.  The  docks  presented  a  lively  scene,  men 
hurried  to  and  fro,  and  business  at  the  warehouses  was  active. 
Two  neighbors,  with  whom  John  Higley  is  found  closely  associ- 
ated in  the  following  years  (Benjamin  Newberry  and  George 
Griswold),  owned  warehouses  close  by. 

In  the  record  of  items  left  on  the  pages  of  his  account-book, 
in  his  own  handwriting,  it  appears  that  he  held  the  appointment 
of  Officer  of  the  Customs,  and  there  is  some  evidence  that  he 
possessed  an  interest  in  vessels  plying  between  this  coast  and 
Bermuda.  The  latter,  however,  is  not  quite  clear. 

Much  of  the  business  of  the  warehouse  had  to  do  with  the 
importation  of  rum.1  The  island  of  Barbadoes,  with  which  there 
was  much  communication  at  that  time,  "was  the  first  sugar 
colony  which  the  English  possessed,  and  was  a  place  of  consider- 
able importance.  In  1684  the  distillation  of  rum  from  the  cane 
juice  was  extensively  carried  on,  and  there  were  not  fewer  than 
358  sugar  works  in  operation."2 

But  there  were  obstructions  to  trade  in  the  colony,  as  reported 
to  the  House  of  Lords  by  a  committee  appointed  to  make  in- 
quiry into  the  state  of  the  colony,  "  for  want  of  men  of  estates 
to  venture  abroad,  and  of  money  at  home  for  the  management  of 
trade,  and  labor  being  so  dear."  * 

John  Higley  turned  his  attention  in  this  direction.  According 
to  old  MS.,  he  made  two  voyages  to  the  West  Indies  and  some 
coastwise  trips.  His  name  is  also  found  in  the  return  passenger 
list  as  follows: 

1  The  following  entries  are  extracts  from  John  Higley's  Account-Book  : 

"  Aprill  25,  1683.  Mr.  Henry  Wolcott  made  entry  of  one  barroll  of  Rum  for  transportation  and 
if  he  did  not  transport  it  he  would  pay  the  costom  of  it." 

"July  10,  1683.  Nathaniel  Bissell  made  entry  of  a  cask  of  rum  of  about  52}  gals.,  which  he 
entered  for  transportation,  marked  NB." 

"August  5,  '83.  Mr.  Thos.  Cook  made  entry  of  one  hhd.  of  rum  for  transportation  :  mark 
TC  [  .  .  .  some  words  not  deciphered]  ye  was — &  mye  same  boats  and  barroll  of  Rum  for 
Tho:  Dewey  of Rum." 

"  1683.  _  Josias  Wolcott  made  entry  of  6  barrolls  of  Rum  for  transportation  and  if  he  did  not 
transport  it for  costom." 

Says  Eggleston  :  "  There  was  no  class  in  the  colonies  that  could  be  called  temperate,  if  judged 
by  modern  American  standards.  .  .  .  Drinking  was  universal.  The  birth  of  a  child,  the  taking 
of  a  piece  of  land,  the  induction  of  a  new  minister,  an  election  of  officers,  weddings,  funerals, 
auctions,  and  even  religious  meetings  in  private  houses,  were  occasions  for  drinking." — "  The 
Colonist  at  Home"  The  Century,  1884-83. 

2  "  History  of  Barbadoes,"  by  Sir  R.  Schoonbruck. 
*  "  Connecticut  Colonial  Records. 


"  Persons  of  Qualitie  who  went  to  the  American  Plantations,"  sailing  from  Bar- 
badoes  in  1678  :  viz. 

"  Ticquetts  granted  out  of  the  Secys  Office  of  the  Island  of  Barbadoes  for  the 
departure  off  the  Island,  March  the  24th,  John  Higley  on  the  ketch  Mary  for 
Boston.  John  Gardener,  Commander."1 

The  commodities  shipped  direct  to  Barbadoes  and  Jamaica 
were  "  there  bartered  for  sugar,  cottonwood,  and  rumme  and  some 
money."  At  this  time  in  the  history  of  the  colony,  "  the  chief 
staples  for  trade  were  wheat,  peas,  hemp,  '  Ry,'  barley,  Indian 
corn,  'Porck'  beefe,  'woole,'flax,  cider,  staves,  and  horses."  The 
great  forests  supplied  materials  for  shipbuilding.  These  were 
"good  timber — oak,  pine,  and  spruce  for  masts,  'tarr'  and 
pitch."  The  wearing  apparel  of  the  colonists  was  procured  by 
shipping  the  provisions  they  raised  to  Boston,  which  were  ex- 
changed for  goods  "to  cloathe  with."  There  were  now  "about 
thirty  black  slaves  in  the  Connecticut  Colony."* 

It  was  seldom  that  relief  was  needed  for  the  poor.  "  Labor  is 
deare  and  provisions  cheap,"  continued  the  Report  to  the  House 
of  Lords.  A  day  laborer  was  paid  two  shillings  a  day,  and  some- 
times two  and  sixpence.  "Beggars  and  vagabond  persons  were 
not  suffered,"  and  when  discovered  were  "  bownd  out  to 
service."  a 

On  the  7th  of  August,  1679,  his  daughter  Katherine  was  born, 
and  in  1680  a  son  was  born,  to  whom  John  Higley  gave  his 
mother's  maiden  name — Brewster.  This  son  became,  in  aftertime, 
the  paternal  ancestor  of  a  long  line  of  descendants  bearing  sterling 

At  the  town  meeting  held  December  30,  1680,  John  Higley  was 
chosen  a  constable  for  Windsor,  the  first  public  office  to  which  he 
was  elected. 

"The  constable  was  an  officer  of  superior  dignity."  He  was 
to  the  inhabitants  "the  right  arm  of  the  king  himself;  a  function- 
ary treated  with  reverent  awe  and  obeyed  with  implicit  deference. 
Whoever  resisted  the  power  resisted  the  ordinance  of  God.  The 
first  constable  in  Windsor  was  Mr.  Henry  Wolcott,  appointed  in 
1636."  3 

About  this  time  John  Higley  began  to  scent  in  the  air  the 

1  Hotton's  "  Original  Lists  of  Persons  of  Qualitie,  Emigrants,  and  Others,"  etc. 

2  "  Connecticut  Colonial  Records." 

'  Noah  Porter,  D.  D.,  President  of  Yale  University,  in  "  History  of  Hartford  County,"  vol.  iL 
p.  306. 


future  fortunes  in  the  growth  and  values  of  lands.  In  the  years 
1681  and  1682  he  purchased  additional  tracts  at  Windsor. 

The  year  1681  witnessed  the  death  of  the  venerable  grand- 
mother, Elizabeth  Drake,  who  died  on  the  yth  of  October,  at  the 
age  of  one  hundred  years. 

John  and  Hannah  Drake  Higley  now  had  a  family  of  five  chil- 
dren. We  indulge  in  the  fancy  of  seeing  the  eldest,  John,  a  boy 
of  eight  years,  standing  beside  the  old  armchair  of  his  great- 
grandmother,  listening  with  gaping  wonder  to  the  stories  of  well- 
nigh  a  century.  Her  life  had  been  co-extensive  with  the  stirring 
events  in  the  rise  and  progress  of  the  Puritans'  colonization. 

What  "  grandmother  tales "  she  could  tell  !  not  old  wives' 
fables,  but  entertaining  historic  reminiscences.  Is  it  any  sur- 
prise that  we  have  traditions  ?  And  why  not  give  them  their  due 
weight  and  credence  ?  It  has  recently  been  said  that  "  obscure 
memories  and  vague  traditions  are  powerful  forces  in  our  social 
fabric."  '  The  tendency  of  the  day  to  original  inquiry  and  his- 
toric facts  obtained  from  actual  record,  has,  perhaps,  produced  an 
inclination  to  underestimate  the  importance  of  this  kind  of 
material.  These  old  lives  spanned  each  other  many  years, 
repeating  and  linking  together  successive  periods  of  history,  and 
we  cannot  but  maintain  that  they  conveyed  a  vast  amount  of 
truth  ;  and,  while  we  readily  admit  that  there  were  many  errors 
and  inaccuracies,  we  recognize  all  the  way  along  a  stratum  of 
well-grounded  fact  which  deserves  due  regard. 

Books  were  very  scarce  in  the  days  of  Grandmother  Drake,  and 
newspapers  there  were  none;  consequently  the  range  of  conver- 
sation upon  present  events  was  naturally  limited;  however,  there 
was  little  room  in  her  mind  for  dwelling  upon  the  ordinary 
matters  of  the  neighborhood,  or  upon  visionary  things. 

Her  eventful  life  had  been  made  up  of  actual  realities,  which 
were  no  myth.  As  she  sat,  day  after  day,  she  must  have  readily 
recalled  a  thousand  memories  of  the  long,  long  past  years — her 
recollections  went  so  far  back  that  they  were  beyond  the  reach  of 

We  learn  of  no  lament  falling  from  her  aged  lips  over  past 
hardships.  Her  heroism  had  never  failed.  The  sweet-winged 
angel,  Faith,  had  buoyed  her  from  first  to  last,  and  she  walked 
through  the  vicissitudes  of  the  Puritan's  life  gazing  upward. 

1  Hon.  Thomas  F.  Bayard,  Secretary  of  State,   Speech  at  Holland  Society  Annual   Meeting, 
New  York,  1889. 


She  could  tell  of  her  girlhood  days  among  the  charming  land- 
scapes of  the  Devonshire  hills  looking  out  upon  the  waters  of  the 
changing  sea,  of  how  they  had, long  years  ago,  heard  strange  tales 
from  the  "sea  kings,"  and  fishermen,  and  fur  merchants,  of  the 
wild  shore  beyond  the  great  ocean;  then  how  they  were  marked 
for  persecution,  and  of  the  dark  years  that  preceded  the  dawn 
and  epoch  of  their  religious  liberty,  of  severing  the  loved  ties  in 
their  native  land,  of  the  remarkable  sea  voyage,  when  they  were 
helplessly  tossed  in  storm  and  wave,  the  fright  and  conjectures 
whenever  a  sail  appeared  upon  the  horizon,  about  supposed 
Spanish  privateers,  which  were  infesting  the  seas;  of  seventy-two 
days  of  continuous  "  feasts  of  devotion "  which  the  floating, 
homeless  church  enjoyed  with  its  voice  uplifted  in  song  above 
the  roar  of  the  billows — the  fire  of  powerful  sermons  preached 
twice  each  day;  and,  finally,  when  land  was  descried,  with  what 
joy  they  greeted  "the  smell  of  the  shore,  like  the  smell  of 
a  garden." ' 

She  could  speak  of  the  sense  of  isolation  which  stole  secretly 
into  their  hearts,  and  the  high  pitch  of  courage  required,  as  they 
neared  our  unfamiliar  coast  where 

"  the  ocean  eagle  soared 
From  his  nest  by  the  white  wave's  foam  ; 
And  the  rocking  pines  of  the  forest  roared 
This  was  their  welcome  home  !  " 

Then,  in  our  imagination,  came  her  narratives  of  the  dreadful  pri- 
vations, makeshifts,  adventures,  and  escapes  through  which  they 
passed  during  their  life  among  wild  savages — "  the  heathen," 
as  they  called  them  ;  how  these  intruded  themselves  into  their 
homes  whenever  they  inclined  to  open  the  door  and  walk  stealthily 
in  without  even  knocking  ;  meddled  with  everything  they  fancied 
to  lay  their  hands  upon,  and  wrapping  themselves  in  their  bear- 
skins would  lay  themselves  down  to  sleep  upon  the  floor  in  front 
of  the  great  fireplace. 

Mrs.  Drake  could  well  remember  these  savage  rovers  when 
they  became  fierce  and  treacherous,  how  they  tortured  to  death 
and  tomahawked  the  settlers  on  the  river,  and  "  wore  headbands 
made  of  the  fingers  and  toes  of  their  victims,"  the  thrilling  excite- 
ments in  the  settlements  when  they  kidnapped  and  carried  off 
into  the  dark  wilderness  neighbors  and  little  children,  and  the 

1  Winthrop's  Letter*. 


dreadful  horrors  these  endured,  and  how  stout  hearted  women 
used  the  musket  in  defense  when  needful. 

Grandmother  Drake  had  many  a  true  story  to  relate  of  packs 
of  hungry  wolves  and  other  wild  beasts  of  the  thickets  close  to 
her  dwelling,  howling  and  snarling  at  night,  just  outside  the  door. 
But  her  best  stories  must  have  been  about  real,  live,  so-called 
"witches,"  who  haunted  the  neighborhood — no  mere  phantoms, 
but  women  whom  they  believed  were  intimate  with  evil  spirits, 
and  saw  and  heard  things  supernatural,  who  did  an  endless  string 
of  things  which  upset  the  community. 

Her  voice  no  doubt  trembled  as  she  sometimes  talked  with  the 
older  people  of  the  gloomy  news  that  often  reached  them  from 
the  motherland  in  that  remarkable  age  in  the  history  of  Eng- 
land, the  disorder  and  turmoil  that  prevailed  at  periods  in  the 
political  world,  the  insecurity  of  government,  and  the  grievous 
suspense  they  endured  between  the  long  intervals  of  the  ships 
coming  bearing  news  from  home — sweet  home. 

But  now  the  eventful  journey  of  Elizabeth  Drake's  life  was 
closed.  A  wild  informal  beauty  surrounded  the  scene  as  they 
laid  her  to  her  slumbrous  rest.  It  was  early  autumn.  The  corn- 
tassels  were  brown,  and  the  stocks  were  golden.  All  nature  was 
ripe  and  mellow.  A  glorious  luxuriance  in  color  clothed  the 
boughs  of  the  great  forest  trees,  and  the  bushes  which  fringed  the 
majestic  river,  upon  whose  banks,  as  "a  pilgrim  and  a  stranger," 
she  had  found  a  home.  Its  waters  glistened  between  the  brilliant 
foliage  in  sight  of  her  resting  place.  The  sun  reddened  the 
western  sky,  and  covered  the  summits  of  the  rich  valley  with  a 
glow.  The  birds,  in  flocks,  were  passing  high  in  the  air,  migrat- 
ing to  a  sunnier  home.  The  wind-breezes  blew  a  little  wild 
among  the  giant  pines,  and  furnished  the  music  which  wafted  her 
away  in  holy  triumph,  as  she  took  new  wing  and  went  onward  to 
another  world  and  another  life. 

And  so  she  parted — our  last  old  Puritan  grandmother — leaving 
behind  her,  from  the  blossoms  her  life  had  yielded,  a  rich  fruitage 
of  hope,  courage,  and  devotion. 

"  I  am  the  last.     Once  more  we  are  complete, 
To  gather  round  the  Paschal  feast.     My  place 
Is  near  my  Maker.     My  Lord  ! 
How  bright  Thou  art,  and  yet  the  very  same 
I  loved  on  earth  !     "Tis  worth  the  hundred  years 
To  feel  this  bliss  !     So,  lift  me  up,  dear  Lord, 
Unto  Thy  bosom.     There  shall  I  abide." 

— St.  John,  the  Aged. 



And  from  this  ancient  town,  went  forth  men 
Whose  deeds,  recorded  by  the  pen — 
Became  historic.     Their  unflinching  faith, 
Endurance,  and  amazing  hardihood, 
Set  the  great  seal  of  deathless  Industry 
Upon  their  labors  ;  carving  for  themselves, 
With  cumbrous  ploughshare. 

—  The  Titles  of  a  True  Nobility.— PL.  E.  JKNKS. 

IT  was  about  the  year  1683  that  John  Higley's  attention  was 
turned  toward  the  settlement  at  Massacoe,1  nine  miles  distant, 
for  his  future  home.  The  rich  meadows  upon  the  banks  of  the 
noble  stream — the  Tunxus,  now  the  Farmington,  which  was 
swarming  with  myriads  of  fish,  and  the  rich  wooded  upland  slopes, 
gave  to  his  far-seeing  eye  future  promise  of  prosperity. 

As  early  as  March  n,  1663,  the  grandfather,  Deacon  John 
Moore,  with  Captain  Benjamin  Newberry  and  Edward  Griswold, 
all  residents  of  Windsor,  were  appointed  by  the  General  Assembly 
a  committee  "to  lay  out  the  undivided  lands  at  Massacoe,  to  such 
inhabitants  of  Windsor  as  desire  and  need  it,""  and  "in  1667  the 
first  grants  given  by  this  committee,  of  which  any  record  exsists, 
were  made."  s 

Among  those  who  secured  estates  thus  granted,  was  John  Drake, 
the  father-in-law  of  John  Higley.  The  following  year,  October 
1668,  the  General  Court  ordered,  "  that  Massacoe,  which  hitherto 
hath  been  an  appendix  to  the  towne  of  Windsor,  may  be  improved 
for  the  making  of  a  plantation  ;  and  Capt.  Benjamin  Newberry, 
Deacon  John  Moore,  and  Mr.  Simon  Woolcott,  the  present  Com- 
mittee for  the  grant  of  those  lands,  are  desired  and  empowered 
by  the  Court  to  the  further  planting  of  the  same,  and  to  make 
such  just  orders  as  they  shall  judge  requisite  for  the  well  ordering 
of  the  sayd  Plantation,  so  they  be  not  repugnant  to  the  publique 
orders  of  this  Colony."* 

The  first  acknowledged  deed  given  formally  by  the  Indians,  and 
having  the  sanction  of  the  General  Assembly,  was  not  executed 

1  The  Indian  name  for  Simsbury.  '  Phelps'  "  History  of  Simsbury." 

*  "  Connecticut  Colonial  Records,"  vol.  i.  p.  397.  4  "  Connecticut  Colonial  Records." 


until  twelve  years  later — 1680,  though  "the  Inhabitants  had  held 
quiet  possession  without  interruption  for  some  years  previous." 

The  year  before  his  removal  to  Simsbury,  John  Higley's  name 
was  "propownded"  to  the  General  Assembly,  May  10,  1683,'  for 
admission  as  freeman.  There  is  no  explanation  given  why  he 
deferred  his  application  until  he  was  near  thirty-four  years  of  age. 
He  was  "accepted  " at  the  following  term  of  the  Court  in  October. 

The  act  of  the  Assembly  under  which  the  Connecticut  colonial 
residents  were  given  this  franchise  at  this  time  required,  "that 
they  present  themselves  with  a  certificate  under  the  bands  of  ye 
maior,  and  of  the  Townsman  where  they  live,  that  they  are  per- 
sons of  civil,  peaceable,  and  honest  conversation,  and  that  they 
attain  the  age  of  21  years,  and  have  ^20,  estate  beside  their 
person,  in  the  List  of  estate,  and  that  such  persons  so  qualified  to 
the  Court's  approbation  shall  be  presented  at  the  October  Court 
and  admitted  after  ye  election  at  the  Assembly  in  May.  And  in 
case  any  freeman  shall  walk  scandalously  or  commit  any  scandalous 
offence,  and  be  legally  convicted  thereof,  he  shall  be  disfranchised 
by  any  Civill  Courts."* 

On  the  22d  of  August  the  same  year  (1683)  occurred  the 
happy  birth  of  his  daughter,  Hannah,  who  was  destined,  years  later, 
to  become  the  mother  of  Connecticut's  first  governor,  America's 
distinguished  "Brother  Jonathan"  of  Revolutionary  fame,3  and 
grandmother  and  great-grandmother  to  others  of  Connecticut's 
chiefest  and  most  notable  citizens,  including  two  governors,  and 
one  signer  of  the  Declaration  of  Independence. 

About  this  time  John  Higley  became  involved  in  a  lawsuit,  evi- 
dently in  connection  with  his  warehouse  transactions.  In  Septem- 
ber, 1681,  Joseph  Trueman  recovered  judgment  against  him  for 
twenty-six  gallons  of  "  Rume,"  and  cost  of  court,  amounting  to 
;£i  los.  6d.  The  execution  was  levied  upon  two  hundred  and 
seventy-one  yards  of  "old  statute  lace."  The  General  Assembly 
repealed  this  judgment  at  the  May  session,  1683,  because  Trueman 
thought  the  value  of  the  lace  was  not  equal  to  the  amount  of  the 
judgment,  and  Trueman  was  given  liberty  to  apply  to  the  Court  of 
Assistants.  The  litigation  in  this  case  continued  through  a  period 
of  several  years.  * 

The  precise   date  in  1684  of  John  Higley's  removal  with  his 

1  "  Connecticut  Colonial  Records." 
*  "  Connecticut  Colonial  Records,"  1665-77. 

8  See  sketches  of  Hannah  Higley  Trumbull,  p.  103,  and  Governor  Jonathan  Trumbull,  chapter 


family  to  Simsbury  cannot  be  ascertained.  Legal  documents 
upon  record,  concerning  purchases  of  land  with  which  he  was  con- 
nected, clearly  state  that  he  was  a  "  resident  of  Windsor  "  on  the 
4th  of  March  in  that  year  (1684).  His  homestead  farm  at 
Simsbury  was  secured  at  two  purchases,  the  first  from  Samuel 
Brooke  in  March,  1684,  and  the  remainder  on  the  ad  of  Sep- 
tember of  the  same  year  from  George  Griswold.  Since  the 
deed  to  that  purchased  from  Griswold  includes  the  dwelling, 
barns,  and  other  buildings,  and  in  the  December  following  he  is 
found  to  have  become  a  permanent  resident  of  Simsbury,  it  is 
conclusive  that  he  removed  from  Windsor  and  took  possession  of 
his  new  abode  early  in  the  autumn  of  1684.  The  property  was 
known  as  the  "  Wolcott-farm." 

A  very  old  record  shows  that  this  was  a  part  of  the  original 
tract  of  land  "laid  out"  to  Simon  Wolcott,  January  28,  1675. 
It  gives  to  Wolcott  "  land  which  lyeth  adjacent  to  his  house-lott 
(which  house  lott,  by  a  previous  grant  contayned  5  acres  and  64 
rods)  and  Contayned  by  estimate  Twenty  Accres,  one  Roode,  and 
two  perchase."  ' 

Mr.  Simon  Wolcott  afterward  added  lands  to  this  tract.  He 
occupied  the  property  until  about  the  year  1680,  and  one  of  its 
chief  glories  has  been  that  it  is  claimed  to  have  been  the  birth- 
place of  Governer  Roger  Wolcott.8  The  house  also  bears  the 
distinction  of  having  been  the  first  licensed  place  at  Simsbury  for 
the  sale  of  liquors.  Wolcott,  while  he  was  its  owner,  having  been 
"  granted  liberty  to  retayle  spirits." 

John  Higley  finally  became  the  purchaser  of  the  entire  farm, 
which  contained  ninety-four  acres,  and  additional  adjacent  lands. 

For  some  reason  Simon  Wolcott  had  divided  the  property  and 
sold  a  part  to  Christopher  Saunders  of  Rehobeth,  Mass.,  and  the 
remainder  to  George  Griswold  of  Windsor. 

The  early  Land  Records  of  Simsbury  were  accidentally  burned 
about  the  year  1684-85,  and  in  many  cases  a  second  deed  of 
property,  which  had  been  previously  placed  upon  record,  is  found 
in  the  ancient  Records  as  though  given  at  a  later  date.* 

1  From  Book  i.  "  Records  of  Simsbury." 

*  The  Rev.  Increase  Tarbox,  in  the   "  History  of  Hartford  County  "  by  J.  Hammond  Trumbull, 
states  that  Simon  Wolcott  removed  to  East  Windsor  in  1680,  and  that  his  son,  Roger  Wolcott,  was 
then  an  infant,  one  year  old.     Family  tradition  has  long  had  it  that  about  three  years  intervened 
between  Simon  Wolcott's  sale  of  the  estate  and  John  Higley's  purchase  of  the  same. 

*  The  following  is  taken  from  a  statement  in  Book  i.  "  Simsbury  Land  Records,"  p.  26,  dated 
May  i,  1688  : 

"  On  March  4th  1683-4  John  Higley  of  Windsor  bought  of  Samuel  Brooke,  son  of  John  Brookes, 


The  estate  was  situated  in  the  extreme  northern  part  of  the 
present  limits  of  Simsbury  township,  upon  the  direct  road  lead- 
ing from  the  town  to  the  old  Newgate  prison  and  copper-mines, 
and  half  a  mile  above  the  spot  where  the  road  to  the  village  of 
Salmon  Brook  branches  off.  The  property,  which  included  this 
farm,  was  purchased  and  presented  to  the  town,  in  1883,  by 
Amos  R.  Eno,  Esq.,  for  a  "home  for  the  poor  of  the  town,"  and 
is  now  known  as  the  "  Town  Farm."  ' 

When  owned  by  John  Higley,  it  comprised  rich  bottom  lands 
of  the  Farmington  River,  including  a  sloping  ridge,  or  uplands, 
that  bound  the  valley,  which  are  said  to  have  been  covered  by 
stately  pines.  Pickeral  Cove,  which  formed  one  of  the  boundaries, 
is  to  this  day  a  beautiful  and  romantic  spot,  and  the  "  little  brook  " 
mentioned  in  the  deed  is  still  a  lively,  dancing  stream,  whose 
waters  flow  by  in  forgetfulness  of  its  owner  of  two  centuries  ago. 

The  house  and  buildings  were  placed  on  the  slope  of  the  rising 
land,  looking  across  the  valley,  and  stood  upon  the  east  side  of  the 
road.  Its  quaint,  old-fashioned  exterior  was  distinctly  remem- 
bered by  Dr.  Lucius  I.  Barber  and  Mr.  Newall  Goddard  of  Sims- 
bury,  who  were  born  and  brought  up  near  the  site  where  it  stood, 
both  of  whom  described  it  to  the  writer. 

It  was  a  good  specimen  of  the  better  class  of  colonial  home- 
steads, and  was  far  above  the  primitive  dwelling-houses  of  those 

late  of  Simsbury,  Deed.,  land  distributed  to  said  Samuel  Brookes  from  the  estate  of  his  father,  as  by 
the  '  honored  Court  Records  may  appear,"  a  certain  portion  of  land,  which  was  the  one-half  interest 
of  the  property  known  as  the  Wolcott  farm, '  for  and  in  Consideration  of  a  Valuable  summe  to  him 
payd  and  Secured.' 

"  The  Deed  from  Christopher  Sanders  of  Rehobeth,  Mass.,  to  John  Brookes  of  Windsor,  of  said 
farm  reads  thus  ;  '  Which  sayd  Farrne  was  bought  by  me,  the  said  Christopher  Sanders,  of  Simon 
Wolcott  of  Windsor,  the  Whole  farm  being  by  estimation  Ninety-four  Accres.'  " 

From  Book  i.  "Simsbury  Records": 

"  I,  George  Griswold  ...  of  Windsor,  in  consideration  of  the  sum  of  one  hundred  and  twenty 
pounds,  paid  by  John  Higley  of  Windsor,  have  sold  .  .  .  the  moiety  of  one  half  of  a  certain  ffarmme 
which  was  formerly  bought  of  Mr.  Simon  Wolcott  of  Windsor,  the  whole  farm  being  by  estimation 
ninety-four  acres  more  or  less,  situated  on  the  westerly  side  of  the  river  above  the  falls,  and  begins 
at  a  little  brook  by  the  river  side,  which  brook  bounds  it  next  to  land  I  bought  of  John  Griffen,  116 
rods  in  breadth  by  the  river,  and  runs  from  the  river  towards  the  upland  130  rods  ;  the  land 
which  was  anyways  granted  or  given  to  Simon  Wolcott  by  the  Inhabitants  of  the  said  town  of  Sims- 
bury,  together  with  all  buildings,  edifices,  fences,  orchards,  gardens,  and  all  other  parts  and  appur- 
tences,  as  also  ;  And  moreover  tbe  moiety  of  one  half  of  that  parcel  of  land  which  Samuel  Phelps 
and  I,  the  aforesaid  George  Griswold  bought  of  John  Griffen,  the  whole  being  about  twenty  acres 
lying  on  the  same  side  of  ye  river  and  abutting  S.  W.  on  the  Aforementioned  farm,  easterly  by  the 
river,  and  north  N.  E.  on  Pickerall  Cove. 

"  Dated  ;  This  Second  day  of  September,  one  thousand  six  hundred  and  eighty-four. 

"  [Signed]          GEORGE  GRISWOLD." 

An  adjoining  tract  of  land  is  recorded  as  follows  : 

At  a  town  meeting  held  "  March  ye  34  1690,  given  to  Lieut.  John  Higley  a  certain  parcel!  of  land 
lying  without  the  line  that  was  laid  out  to  Mr.  Samuel  Wolcott,  it  is  a  kind  of  frog  Pond  ;  alsoe 
there  is  thirty  acres  of  land  joins  sd  Lieut.  John  Higley's  on  his  Brook  between  his  land  and 
Salmon  Brook  path,"  etc. 

NOTE.— Many  of  the  earliest  papers  concerning  lands  at  Simsbury  were  burned  in  1676.  Dr. 
Lucius  I.  Barber  is  authority  for  stating  that  there  were  also  a  number  burned  in  an  accidental 
fire  which  occurred  about  1684-85. 

1  The  present  buildings  on  the  "  Town  Farm  "  are  upon  the  west  side  of  the  road,  nearly  opposite 
to  the  spot  where  John  Higley's  house  stood. 


early  times.  This  one  is  described  as  a  substantial  frame  struc- 
ture, commodious  in  size,  two  stories  in  front,  the  rafters  of 
whose  roof  slanted  downward  in  the  rear  to  within  eight  or  ten 
feet  of  the  ground.  This  rear  part  of  the  building  was  called 
"  the  lean-to." 

There  was  one  massive  chimney,  which  it  is  stated  was  full 
twelve  feet  square,  and  stood  like  a  great  tower  directly  in  the 
center  of  the  roof.  The  fireplace  was  eight  feet  wide,  and 
several  feet  deep,  built  of  stone  laid  in  clay.  The  chimney  was 
topped  with  brick  brought  from  England.  The  windows  were 
small,  after  the  style  of  the  times,  containing  window-panes 
6"X8",  and  were  three  panes  wide. 

"  These  homes,"  says  Eggleston,  "  had  an  air  of  domesticity — 
of  large  and  elegant  domesticity,  but  still  they  looked  like  homes, 
the  homes  of  people  of  sense,  and  taste,  and  character."  ' 

A  few  venerable  apple  trees,  which  have  leaved  and  budded  at 
the  springtime  of  years  numbering  almost  a  century,  which  were 
probably  planted  by  John  Higley's  grandchildren,  are  all  that  is 
now  left  to  mark  the  spot  where  stood  the  old  homestead  which 
has  long  since  disappeared.  It  was  torn  down  in  the  year  1827  by 
Alexander  Holcombe,  who  was  at  that  time  the  owner  of  the  farm. 

It  was  here  that  Captain  Higley's  son  Joseph  was  born,  and  this 
was  also  the  birthplace  of  his  son  Samuel,  who  has  become  a  char- 
acter of  national  interest,  as  the  designer  and  manufacturer  of  the 
earliest  American  copper  coin  put  into  circulation.  It  was  also 
within  its  walls  that  his  daughter  Mindwell  was  born. 

John  Higley  afterward  purchased  adjoining  tracts  and  addi- 
tional lands,  until  his  estates  in  the  northern  part  of  Simsbury 
township  extended  from  the  town  of  Simsbury  to  the  village  of 
Salmon  Brook,  and  thence  running  east  across  the  Farmington 
river,  included  some  of  the  best  meadow  lands  in  the  township, 
and  the  present  site  of  Tariffville. 

This  region  of  country,  extending  full  four  miles  along  the 
river  north  and  south,  and  from  the  river  to  the  West  Mountain, 
a  distance  of  at  least  3^  miles  in  another  direction,  was  after- 
ward called  Higley-town,  and  was  so  known  for  more  than 
150  years.  He  was  also  the  possessor  of  lands  at  a  settlement 
a  few  miles  away,  called  Scotland,  and  at  Turkey  Hills,  and 
Windsor.  An  excellent  map  of  Simsbury,  made  by  order  of  the 
Connecticut  General  Assembly  in  1730,  the  original  of  which 

1  Edward  Eggleston,  in  The  Century,  1883. 


is  still  in  existence,  shows  Higley-town  marked  with  beautiful 
clearness,  and  indicates  the  dwellings  contained  in  the  entire 
township,  with  the  names  of  the  land-owners, 'among  whom  are 
a  large  number  of  the  Higleys  of  the  second  and  third  generations. 

Upon  his  removal  to  Simsbury,  John  Higley's  usefulness  in  his 
new  sphere  of  life  is  soon  apparent. 

On  the  24th  of  December,  1684,  a  committee  was  appointed  by 
the  town  meeting  to  provide  for  and  superintend  "  Ye  finishing 
of  ye  Meeting  House,  with  full  power,"1  etc.  This  committee 
consisted  of  the  townsmen,  and  John  Higley.  The  following 
summer  a  committee  was  chosen  "for  ye  procuring  of  a 
minister,"  the  Rev.  Mr.  Stow  declining  "  to  stay  no  longer  than 
to  mak  up  his  four  Years  which  will  terminate  said  he  in  the 
middle  of  October."  The  record  reads  as  follows  : 

"August  14,  1685. — At  a  Town-Meeting  of  the  Inhabitants  of 
Simsbury  there  was  a  Committee  chosen  by  the  Inhabitants 
thereof  who  have  full  power  by  virtue  of  this  vote  to  choose  and 
look  after  and  procure  a  Minister  for  the  sd  town  of  Simsbury 
and  give  him  suitable  Incouragement  according  to  our  capacity  "a 

This  committee  consisted  of  nine  persons,  one  of  whom  was 
John  Higley. 

By  a  subsequent  vote  of  the  town  the  committee  was  con- 
tinued, and  John  Higley  was  delegated  by  this  committee,  as  its 
messenger,  "  to  treat  with  Rev.  Mr.  Emmerson  or  Other  suitable 
person  for  the  right  discharge  of  the  ministeriall  function,"  and 
authorized  unanimously  by  vote,  "to  tender  fifty  pounds 
annually,"  and  if  he  could  not  be  prevailed  upon  to  come  on 
these  terms,  "then  sixty  pounds  "  were  to  be  offered.  He  was 
also  invested  with  considerable  latitude  in  the  offer  of  certain 
lands  to  anyone  whom  he  might  consider  a  "  suitable  man  for 
the  place,"  in  case  Mr.  Emmerson  did  not  accept. 

In  December,  1685,  he  was  chosen  "townsman,"  and  was 
re-elected  to  the  position  after  this  almost  every  year  until  1692. 
Upon  the  3ist  of  the  same  month  he  was  made  one  of  a  com- 
mittee to  "lay  out,  state,  and  settle  "  matters  concerning  fenc- 
ing, "in  some  just  and  equitable  way." 

There  was  no  end  to  the  vexations  and  annoyances  incident  to 

1  "  Simsbury  Records  of  Town  Meetings,"  book  i.  p.  34. 
•  "  Simsbury  Records  of  Town  Meetings,"  book  i.  p.  42. 


life  in  an  unsettled  wilderness.  The  lands  were  not  defined  at 
this  time  by  settled  boundaries,  and  there  was  little  or  no  fencing, 
and  great  trespasses  and  contests  were  practiced.  Later  on, 
after  fencing  had  been  ordered,  but  had  not  been  attended  to  by 
the  inhabitants,  John  Higley,  with  his  associate  "  Selek  men  of 
Simsbury,'1  in  behalf  of  the  townspeople  offered  a  petition  to  the 
"Generall  Assembly,"  in  which  they  portray  in  pitiful  complaint 
the  imposition  of  their  neighbors'  "  horses,  catell  and  swine," 
which  were  permitted  to  roam  at  large,  saying  : 

"Our  Cornfields  lye  exceedingly  hazzardous  and  .our  labors  be 
distroyed,  as  we  are  Yearly  so  Distroyed  and  devoured  one  of 
another  that  it  is  most  grevious  :  which  if  there  be  not  some 
speedy  care  taken  of  us  that  our  meadows  and  cornfields  be 
secured,  and  our  crops  preserved,  we  shall  bee  very  much 
empoverished  :  neither  shall  we  bee  able  to  carry  on  any  publique 
duties,  either  in  eccleasticall  matters  or  civill  effayres,  ...  so  that 
in  sense  thereof  we  do  most  earnestly  begg,  pray  and  Implore  this 
honnered  Court  to  take  vs,  and  our  most  sadd  estate,  into  your 
serious  Considerason  and  find  out  some  way  for  our  reliefe  and 
welfare.  .  .  so  that  we  pray  and  entreat  your  worships  to  afford 
us  some  reliefe.  And  in  hopes  shall  crave  leave  to  subscribe 
ourselves  your  humble  petitioners."1 

Serious  questions  arose  as  to  the  validity  of  the  Indian  titles 
under  which  the  lands  of  Simsbury  were  then  held.  To  settle 
these  questions  the  governor,  Robert  Treat,  by  authority 
and  direction  of  the  General  Assembly,  issued,  March  n,  1686, 
a  Patent  of  the  township  of  Simsbury  to  eight  proprietors  and 
their  associates;  and  one  of  these  eight  proprietors  named  in  the 
patent  was  "Mr  John  Higley."*  The  Patent  was  again  con- 
firmed by  Act  of  the  General  Assembly  in  1703,  while  Captain 
John  Higley  was  yet  living. 

From  this  period  (1686)  to  the  close  of  his  life,  he  was 
a  leading  spirit  in  the  town,  and  prominent  in  the  annals  of 
public  affairs  in  the  colony.  Except  in  those  of  the  Church,  his 

1  Phelps'  "  History  of  Simsbury,"  p.  79. 

8  The  names  appearing  in  this  original  Patent  of  Simsbury,  are  :  "  Major  John  Talcott,  Capt. 
Benjamin  Newberry,  Ensign  John  Terry,  Mr.  John  Higley,  Mr  John  Case,  Mr  Joshua  Hoi- 
combe,  Mr  Samuel  Wilcox,  and  Mr  Thomas  Barber." 

A  duplicate  copy  of  this  Patent,  recorded  on  parchment,  is  in  the  hands  of  Miss  Emma  Higlev 
of  Vermont,  which  has  descended  with  other  relics  left  by  Captain  John  Higley. 


name  appears  upon  the  records  in  connection  with  nearly  all  of 
the  important  interests  of  his  time. 

While  his  career  was  one  marked  by  stanch  integrity,  justice, 
and  truth,  and  the  utmost  fidelity  to  any  cause  that  he  espoused, 
his  religious  communion  appears  to  have  been  in  the  invisible 
world,  and  not  as  a  member  of  the  Puritan  church  organization. 
His  name,  as  thus  connected,  is  not  to  be  found  upon  any  church 
records  or  in  private  papers,  and  even  tradition  is  silent.1  There 
is,  however,  no  proof  that  there  was  infidelity  in  his  mind.  He 
lived  in  the  Christian  faith.  But  his  religion  was  more  a  matter 
of  life  than  of  creed,  of  deeds  than  of  outward  profession. 

The  town  meeting  in  those  days  managed  all  ecclesiastical 
affairs,  and  through  this  channel  he  was  active  in  means  pertain- 
ing to  public  worship.  He  contributed  faithfully  to  the  support 
of  the  Church — the  law  requiring  the  minister's  rates  to  be  col- 
lected by  the  same  methods  as  the  rates  for  the  town.  In  the 
Windsor  meetinghouse  he  was  assigned  a  seat,  by  the  •"  Seating- 
Committee,"  April  13,  1681,  in  the  "first  gallerie,"  for  which  he 
appears  to  have  paid  four  shillings. 

Unhappily  there  was  a  bitter  contention  in  the  old  Windsor 
Society,  and  a  lack  of  unanimity,  covering  a  period  of  several 
years  during  John  Higley's  residence  there,  and  he  was  probably 
never  attracted,  in  this  state  of  things,  to  become  personally  iden- 
tified in  membership  with  the  church. 

The  tranquillity  and  peace  of  the  churches  in  the  colonies  were 
disturbed  by  controversies  about  the  grounds  for  admission  to 
church  membership,  baptism,  and  other  doctrinal  issues,  and  at 
Windsor  there  had  been  a  long  period  of  seething  discontent  and 
inharmony  upon  the  question  of  repairs  of  the  meetinghouse, 
which  resulted  in  contention  and  bitterness.  The  participators 
in  the  contending  parties  upon  one  side  were  Jacob  and  Job 
Drake,  and  John  Moore,  Jr.,  the  uncles  of  Hannah  Drake 
Higley,  who  took  their  prominent  part,  as  did  other  influential 
families  with  whom  John  Higley  was  in  daily  association — among 
whom  were  the  Wolcotts,  Captain  Newberry,  the  Loomises,  Gris- 
wolds,  Bissells,  and  Phelpses. 

At  Simsbury  there  was  a  prolonged  contention,  lasting  several 
years,  concerning  the  location  of  a  needed  house  for  worship. 
The  unhappy  differences  were  finally  settled  "at  a  solemn  meet- 

1  "  Church  membership,  as  in  Massachusetts,  was  not  a  requisite  qualification  in  the  Connecti- 
cut colony,  for  a  freeman."—  Pitkin's  History,  p.  44. 


ing  on  ye  24th  of  May  1683,"  by  "too  PaPers  put  into  ye  hatt," 
which  were  "  Drawne  by  ye  lott,"1  and  at  the  time  of  John 
Higley's  removal  to  the  place  the  following  year,  the  meeting- 
house, a  building  28X24  feet,  was  erected,  but  stood  unfinished. 
It  was  located  upon  the  west  side  of  the  river  just  across  the 
road,  or  street,  which  now  runs  by  the  ancient  Hop-Meadow 
burying-ground.  As  has  been  before  stated,  his  first  appoint- 
ment by  the  town  meeting,  after  coming  to  Simsbury,  was  to 
serve  with  "the  Selek-men  for  the  finishing  of  the  house,"  which 
was  accomplished  in  1685. 

In  due  time  "a  floor  was  laid,  seats  or  benches  furnished, 
and  a  pulpit  built."  It  was  eleven  years  after  this  before  the 
building  was  ceiled,  and  supplied,  for  the  first  time,  with  windows 
and  a  gallery.  "It  was  never  painted — though  the  town  once 
voted  'to  daub  it.'  This  house  was  used  for  public  worship 
and  town  meetings  nearly  sixty  years."8 

At  the  time  that  John  and  Hannah  Drake  Higley  became 
residents  in  Simsbury,  "Rev.  Mr.  Samuel  Stow"  was  preaching 
in  the  place.  His  salary  was  fifty-six  pounds  a  year.  "The 
town  agreed  with  Samuel  Adams  for  to  get  Mr.  Stow's  firewood 
for  a  whole  year  compleat,  and  for  his  reward  he  is  to  have  ^5, 
i28."  Thomas  Barber  received  ten  shillings  yearly  "for  the 
beating  of  the  Drumme  on  the  Sabboth  Dayes. " 3 

The  Rev.  Samuel  Stow  remained  but  a  brief  period,  and  in 
1687  John  Higley  was  again  active  in  behalf  of  the  town  meeting 
in  securing  the  services  of  the  Rev.  Edward  Thompson.  In 
June  of  that  year  Mr.  Thompson  "was  employed  to  preach, 
though  not  as  a  Settled  Pastor."  *  He  came  with  his  family,  from 
Cape  Ann,  Mass. 

1  Old  Simsbury  Records. 

a  Phelps'  "  History  of  Simsbury,"  p.  47. 

3  Simsbury  Public  Records. 

4  Old  Records  of  Congregational  Church  Society,  Simsbury. 



Man's  true  fame  must  strike  from  his  own  deeds. — MIDDLETON. 

IN  political  affairs  the  colonies  were  in  disturbed  relations  with 
the  transatlantic  power.  In  1685  Charles  II.  died  and  James  II. 
came  to  the  throne  of  England.  James  followed  in  the  wake  of 
Charles  as  a  tyrant.  He  soon  began  measures  to  have  the  Ameri- 
can colonies  surrender  their  patents,  and  to  unite  them  into  prov- 
inces under  a  governor-general  appointed  by  the  Crown.  In  1686 
the  Connecticut  General  Assembly  sent  a  petition  to  the  king  by 
a  special  representative,  praying  for  the  privilege  to  continue 
its  charter.  The  royal  government  turned  a  deaf  ear  to  the 

Sir  Edmund  Andros  arrived  in  Boston  in  December  of  the  same 
year,  to  assume  the  position  of  governor-general  over  New  Eng- 
land. On  the  3ist  of  October,  1687,  Andros,  with  a  company  of 
soldiers,  came  to  Hartford  while  the  General  Assembly  was  in 
session,  to  which  body  he  was  courteously  escorted  by  the  train- 
bands. Ensign  John  Higley  was  present.  Andros  demanded  the 
Connecticut  charter,  which,  after  a  heated  debate,  prolonged  until 
nightfall,  was  brought  into  the  Assembly  chamber  and  laid  upon 
the  table.1  Suddenly  the  lights  were  extinguished,  "leaving  the 
chamber  in  complete  darkness,"  during  which  the  charter  was 
spirited  away. 

"  The  tradition  is  that  Captain  Joseph  Wadsworth  was  the  chief 
actor  in  this  episode.  The  act  has  given  his  name  a  worthy  place 
among  those  honored  by  Connecticut  as  patriots  and  heroes."5 
But  that  Captain  Wadsworth  had  his  helpers  in  the  "  irregular 
proceeding,"  who  were  at  hand  to  assist  in  this  shrewdly  managed 
action,  is  plain  to  be  seen. 

1  The  following  entry  in  the  Colonial  Records  doubtless  has  reference  to  this  scene  : 
"  Sundry  of  the  Court  desiring  the  Patent  or  Charter  might  be  brought  into.the  Court,  the 
Secretary    sent    for  it  and  informed    the  Governor  and  Court    that    he  had  the  Charter,   and 
showed  it  to  the  Court,  and  the  Governor  bid  him  put  it  in  the  box  again,  and  lay  it  on  the  table, 
and  leave  the  key  in  the  box,  which  he  did  forthwith." — Hollester's  History  of  Connecticut. 
a  "  The  Story  of  the  Charter  Oak,"  by  W.  I.  Fletcher,  Librarian,  Connecticut  Historical  Society. 



Old  private  MS.  in  the  hands  of  the  Higley  descendants  state 
positively  that  the  document  was  given  to  their  honored  ances- 
tor, John  Higley,  that  he  mounted  his  horse  and  galloped  off  with 
it  to  Higley-town,  where  he  kept  it  secreted  six  weeks,  before  it 
finally  found  its  hiding-place  in  the  hollow  of  the  since  famous  oak 
tree  in  Hartford. 

That  there  was  a  duplicate  copy  of  the  charter  is  well  known, 
and  whether  this  may  have  been  the  prize  preserved  by  our  worthy 
hero  cannot  be  stated;  indeed,  it  is  not  known  how  authentic  is  the 
story,  which  comes  down  to  us  direct,  of  his  fast  horseback  ride 
through  the  forests  bearing  the  valuable  parchment  to  Higley- 
town;  but  since  it  is  both  possible  and  creditable,  true  to  the  old 
tradition  we  record  it  here,  knowing  that  John  Higley  was  a 
man  equal  to  any  great  emergency,  possessing  bouyancy  and  great 
tact,  full  of  clear  grit  and  defiant  courage.1 

The  times  were  stirring,  and  the  prominent  men  were  on  the 
keen  alert  during  the  critical  situation,  more  especially  that  "it 
had  been  declared  that  the  titles  of  the  colonists  to  their  lands 
were  of  no  value,  and  Andros  had  said  that  Indian  deeds  were 
no  better  than  ' the  scratch  of  a  bears  flaw.'"*  Indeed  many 
proprietors  of  lands  "were  obliged  in  many  instances  to  take 
out  new  patents  for  their  estates,  for  which  a  heavy  fee  was  de- 
manded." It  would  seem  a  matter  of  course  that,  as  a  public- 
spirited  man,  Ensign  John  Higley  would  be  in  Hartford  watching 
with  eager  interest  the  proceedings.  His  fortune  and  his  prop- 
erty were  at  stake.  Besides,  his  military  duties  demanded  his 
presence  in  Hartford  with  the  train-band,  of  which  he  was  a  mem- 
ber, these  having  been  ordered  to  the  town  on  the  day  in  question. 
He  was  also  a  member  of  the  General  Assembly. 

Whether  or  not  we  may  receive  it  as  a  quiet  reward,  or  recogni- 
tion of  his  gallant  deed,  we  find  John  Higley  soon  after  commis- 
sioned by  Governor  Robert  Treat  as  an  officer  of  the  militia, 

1  "  The  extinguishment  of  the  lights,"  says  Fletcher,  "  and  the  removal  of  the  Charter  h*ad 
been  the  act  of  a  few  private  individuals,  whose  desire  to  save  the  precious  document  ex- 
ceeded their  fear  of  the  consequences  to  themselves  of  a  rash  and  dangerous  attempt.  It  was  long 
before  it  was  prudent  to  have  the  names  of  these  men  known,  and  the  necessity  goes  far  to  ex- 
plain the  haziness  of  the  history  which  has  come  down  to  us." 

"  To  complete  the  chapter  it  only  remains  to  add  that  government  under  the  Charter  was 
resumed  in  1689,  when,  on  the  news  of  the  revolution  in  England  reaching  Boston,  Andros 
had  been  arrested  and  imprisoned." — Fletcher's  Story  of  the  Charier  Oak. 

"  Connecticut  obtained  from  the  most  able  lawyers  in  England  an  opinion  that  the  colony,  not 
having  surrendered  the  Charter  under  seal,  and  no  judgment  being  entered  on  record,  the  Charter 
was  not  invalidated." — Barber's  Historical  Collections,  p.  23. 

1  "  Connecticut  Historial  Collections,"  by  John  Warner  Barber. 


and  bearing  the  distinction  of  ensign.1  This  was,  at  that 
time,  the  highest  military  official  in  the  town. 

If  a  man  played  a  distinguishing  part  in  administrative  affairs  in 
those  old  days,  it  was  a  guarantee  that  he  was  of  good  character 
and  good  habits,  and  possessed  well-balanced  abilities,'  directed  to 
ends  valuable  to  the  Commonwealth.  Repeated  and  successive 
promotions  signalized  John  Higley  as  having  qualities  of  good  fel- 
lowship which  commanded  the  admiration  and  confidence  of  his 
townspeople  and  political  associates. 

On  May  21,  1688,  he  was  chosen  "commissioner  for  Sims- 
bury."8  This  invested  him  with  the  power  of  a  public  civil 
officer  for  his  town,  whose  duty  was  "  the  dispensation  of  justice." 
In  August,  1687,  he  was  chosen  deputy  to  the  General  Assembly,3 
and  was  elected  to  a  seat  in  that  body  as  a  representative  for 
thirty-seven  terms,  held  during  the  twenty-two  years  following. 
During  this  long  period  of  legislative  service  he  received  various 
appointments  on  committees  of  importance. 

In  May,  1690,  the  number  of  Simsbury  soldiers  having  been  in- 
creased, he  was  promoted  by  the  General  Court  to  the  grade  of  lieu- 
tenant,4 and  in  1691  he  was  again  recorded  by  act  of  the  General 
Assembly  a  "commissioner,"  which  office  he  held  by  successive 
annual  elections  until  the  colonial  legislature  at  the  May  term  in 
1693  "provided  by  law  "a  "Commission  for  Justices,"6  replacing 
the  office  formerly  known  as  commissioner.  To  this  office  he 
received  the  first  appointment  for  Hartford  County,  and  filled  it 
by  annual  election  for  twelve  successive  years.  In  1710  he  was 
appointed  a  "  Justice  of  the  Quorum,"  an  office  akin  to  the  county 
court.  "Thus,"  says  Dr.  L.  I.  Barber,  "he  was  the  first  citizen 
of  Simsbury  to  hold  the  several  offices  of  '  Commissioner,'  'Justice 
of  the  County  Court,'  and  '  Captain  of  the  Malitia.' ' 

During  these  busy  years  in  public  affairs  his  comprehensive 
grasp  and  persistent  industry  caused  his  vocations  to  be  diverse 

apd   numerous.     In   addition   to   serving  upon   important   com- 


1  "Connecticut  Colonial  Records." 

a  "  May  21, 1688. — At  a  General  Town  Meeting  of  the  Inhabitants  of  Simsbury  Mr.  John  Higley 
was  chosen  Commissioner  for  the  Town  of  Simsbury,  to  attend  to  those  Offices  as  by  Law  required 
of  such  Commissioners,  and  he  is  to  serve  in  ye  place  till  ye  next  May  come  Twelve  Month." — 
Simsbury  Records,  book  i.  p.  65. 

'"General  Court  held  at  Hartford,  Conn.,  October  10,  1687  ;  Ensign  John  Higley,  Deputy  for 
Simsbury."— Connecticut  Colonial  Records, 

*  "  May  term  1690. — John  Higley  is  allowed  Lieutenant,  and  Thomas  Barber  Ensign  of  Sims- 
bury  Train-band,  and  are  to  be  Commissioned." — Connecticut  Colonial  Records,  vol.  iv. 

*  "  Connecticut  Colonial  Records,"  vol.  iv. 


mittees  of  the  General  Assembly,  he  was  constantly  engaged  in  the 
detail  of  town  government.  The  town  records  abound  in  the  use 
of  his  name  associated  with  its  various  interests.  Among  other 
appointments  it  may  be  noted  that  he  was  again  made  chairman 
of  a  committee  early  in  August,  1691,  "  to  be  active  in  ye  procur- 
ing of  a  minister,"  the  Rev.  Edward  Thompson  '  declining  longer 
to  serve  as  pastor  of  the  church. 

Among  other  town  improvements  he  was  granted  liberty  at 
a  town  meeting  held  in  February,  1697,  "to  set  up  a  saw  mill 
north  on  Bissell's  Brook,"  and  the  following  year,  in  partnership 
with  Daniel  Adams,  "  to  set  up  a  Dam  and  Grist  Mill  in  any  stream 
in  town  that  they  may  choose."  By  papers  recorded  at  the 
settlement  of  his  estate  it  is  shown  that  he  had  been  engaged  in 
obtaining  tar  and  turpentine  from  his  "  Pine  plains."  Draft  was 
made  upon  his  time  by  frequent  appointments  to  "lay  out" 
lands.  Among  many  appointments  of  like  character,  he  "was 
empowered"  by  the  General  Assembly  in  1698  to  ^  lay  out"  a 
grant  of  two  hundred  acres  to  the  Rev.  Dudley  Woodbridge,  pas- 
tor of  the  church  at  Simsbury,  and  the  next  year  he  was  chosen 
to  "lay  out  to  Mr.  Henry  Wolcott  land  formerly  granted  him." 

It  must  be  remembered  also,  that  he  had  a  young  and  constantly 
increasing  family  to  provide  and  care  for,  and  the  wilderness  was 
in  process  of  being  turned  into  grain-bearing  fields,  while  the 
scarity  of  laborers  was  severely  felt. 

He  was  all  the  while  doing  conspicuous  and  honorable  service  in 
the  military  line.  In  1698, "  there  now  being  nine  files  of  soldiers," 
the  number  required  to  make  up  a  full  company,  Lieutenant  John 
Higley  was  advanced,  by  act  of  the  General  Assembly,  to  the  rank 
of  captain  :  "an  office  of  great  dignity  in  those  days,  and,  with 
a  single  exception,  the  highest  then  known  in  the  colony — each 
county  having,  as  chief  military  officer,  a  sergeant-major."2 

Training-day  was  usually  a  great  public  day.  "It  was  in  these 
days,  when  the  people  were  assembled,  that  the  town  business  was 
generally  transacted.  The  train-bands  contained  sixty-four  men, 
and  some  had  more  than  one  hundred.  No  distinctive  uniform  was 
required  before  the  Revolution.  The  men  were  armed  with  fire- 
locks [later  called  flint-locks]  and  pikes,  swords  and  cutlasses."  8 

1  For  further  particulars  concerning  Rev.  Edward  Thompson,  see  chapter  xxi. 

*  Phelps'  "  History  of  Simsbury,"  p.  83.     Also  "  Connecticut  Colonial  Records,"  vol.  v. 

"  Lieut.  John  Higley  was  confirmed  Captn  of  the  Train-band  in  the  Town  of  Simsbury,  and 
to  be  Commissioned  Accordingly." 

*  Extracts  from  "History  of  Hartford  County,"  by  J.  Hammond  Trumbull. 


As  a  matter  of  course,  they  carried  the  British  flag.  Our  fore- 
fathers were  born  and  reared  under  the  mother  government,  and 
they  at  this  time  had  not  a  thought  of  breaking  away  from  her. 
There  was  as  yet  no  sight  of  "star  and  stripe";  our  honored 
spangled  banner  that  to-day  floats  forty-four  stars  was  not 
then  dreamed  of. 

"Those  were  the  times  when  everything  associated  with  the 
community  revolved  more  or  less  around  the  Church,"  says 
Senator  Hawley,  in  a  recent  speech.  "There  were  four  great 
men  in  these  towns,  the  first  selectman,  the  captain  of  the  militia, 
the  preacher,  and  the  schoolteacher.  It  was  a  military,  if  not  a 
warlike,  people.  They  were  up  to  every  demand  of  the  king."  ' 

"To  the  military  organizations  the  meetinghouse  was  in  some 
sense  the  center.  The  minister  was  summoned  yearly  to 
offer  prayer  upon  the  Green  amid  the  assembled  companies,  and 
invited  to  dine  with  the  officers.  Should  it  rain  beyond  endur- 
ance on  training-day,  the  meetinghouse  was  opened  to  protect 
the  soldiers  from  drenching.  Its  sacred  walls  have  many  a  time 
reverberated  to  drum  and  fife,  and  the  tramp  of  files  along  the 
aisles,  while  excited  boys  looked  down  from  the  gallery  with  won- 
der at  so  strange  a  spectacle."  2 

The  morning  of  the  4th  of  August,  1694,  dawned  with  a  cloud 
of  heavy  bereavement  in  the  home  of  Captain  John  Higley ;  for  it 
was  on  this  day  that  the  death  of  his  estimable  wife,  Hannah 
Drake  Higley,  the  beloved  mother  of  his  nine  children,  took 
place.  She  became  his  wife  at  the  age  of  eighteen,  and  during 
the  twenty-three  years  of  their  married  life  they  had  together 
divided*  many  toilsome  days.  It  is  safe  to  say  that  few,  if  any, 
shadows  had  cast  themselves  over  the  domestic  fireside.  They 
had  had  much  sunshine  both  outside  and  inside  their  home,  and 
in  material  prosperity  their  feet  had  been  on  the  continual  ascent. 

Hannah  Drake  witnessed  the  early  struggles  of  her  husband 
while  seeking  to  get  a  start  in  life,  and  shared  in  the  great  battle 
of  civilization,  the  dangers  of  a  frontier  home,  the  hard  work,  and 
the  cares  and  solicitude  of  a  growing  family;  and  had  stood 
strong  while  the  husband  and  father  had  been  occupied  for  several 
years  in  public  and  political  engagements.  Every  day  of  her 

1  Hon.  Joseph  R.  Hawley  of  Connecticut,  at  annual  dinner,  in  New  York  City,  of  the  New  Eng- 
land Society. 

a  "  History  of  Hartford  County,"  by  J.  Hammond  Trumbull. 

Training-day  was  a  holiday  observed  so  essentially  the  same  in  each  town  that  had  its  military 
company,  that  the  description  given  of  one  will  belong  to  all.—  ED. 


whole  existence  had  been  passed  in  the  wilderness.  She  was 
born  and  bred  within  the  nightly  sounds  of  howling  wolves,  and 
was  familiar  with  the  prowling  habits  of  the  bear  and  the  native 
wild  animals  of  the  forests.  She  had  no  practical  knowledge  of 
life  away  from  the  privations  and  inconveniences  attendant  upon 
the  pioneer.  She  knew  what  it  was  to  singe  her  hair,  blister 
her  hands,  and  scorch  her  clothing  while  cooking  over  an  open 
fireplace,  a  method  now  growing  to  be  known  only  in  the  hunter's 
camp  and  in  history.  The  tread  of  her  foot  and  the  spinning- 
wheel  performed  accompanying  parts  in  the  round  of  her  daily 
duties,  and  her  busy  hands  managed  the  loom.  The  minister, 
the  teacher,1  and  the  meetinghouse  had  been  almost  her  only 
instructors.  Yet  she  had  a  long  lineage  back  of  her,  gifted 
with  superior  intellectual  abilities,  and  with  such  antecedents  and 
home-training,  it  is  not  surprising  that  her  mind  was  cultivated  to 
a  considerable  degree.  Her  parents  and  grandparents  knew  on 
coming  to  the  wilderness  that  no  greater  stigma  could  rest  upon 
them  than  that  of  leaving  their  children  without  the  opportunity 
of  an  ordinary  education,  but  for  the  most  part  it  was  the  boys  of 
the  Puritan  households,  and  not  the  girls,  who  received  these 
advantages.  The  schoolhouse  was  planted  simultaneously  with 
the  church.*  The  course  of  education  was  limited  to  elementary 
groundwork.  These  were  thoroughly  taught;  though  it  may  be 
doubted  whether  Hannah  Drake  was  ever  a  schoolgirl.3 

The  original  old  Puritans  with  whom  her  girlhood  was  spent, 
and  their  sons  and  daughters  who  emigrated  with  them,  brought  to 
the  new  country  habits  of  intelligent  observation  and  discussion, 
and  shared  with  their  children  around  the  table  the  results  of 
their  acquaintance  with  the  world;  these  children  were  taught  to 
listen  intelligently.  From  these  Hannah  would  naturally  imbibe 
the  knowledge  that  there  was  in  the  somewhere,  a  moving,  restless, 
and  busy  world;  but  she  had  never  seen  it — her  only  glimpse  of 
it  had  been  at  the  stately  ships  which  came  to  and  fro  into  the 
Windsor  port. 

1  An  installed  teacher  was  connected  with  many  New  England  churches  in  the  early  times. 
"  It  was  the  general  opinion  that  the  pastor's  work  consisted  principally  in  exhortation  ;  but  the 
teacher's  business  was  to  teach,  explain,  and  defend  the  doctrines  of  Christianity." — Barber's 
Historical  Collections,  p.  128. 

a  Schools  were  at  once  established.  By  an  early  statute  it  was  ordered  that  "  every  town  con- 
taining thirty  families  shall  maintain  a  school  to  teach  reading  and  writing,  and  that  every  county 
town  should  have  a  Latin  school.  The  pupils  were  grounded  in  reading,  writing,  and  the  cate- 
chism."— History  of  Hartford  County,  by  J.  Hammond  Trumbull,  p.  354. 

*  Old  business  accounts  and  receipts  evidence  that  Captain  Higley's  daughters  were  taught  the 
elementary  branches  of  education. 


And  yet,  though  she  knew  no  people  but  a  community  "  cradled 
in  Christian  faith,"  and  swarms  of  dusky  Indians,  she  was  familiar 
with  the  sea  and  its  wonders,  through  voyages  made  by  her 
kindred  and  those  made  by  her  husband.  She  must  have  been 
intelligently  acquainted  with  social  and  political  affairs,  both 
in  Great  Britain  and  the  Colonies,  which  were  much  talked  of 
themes  in  every  home  circle,  and  in  her  father's  house  she  had 
always  had  the  rare  advantage  of  the  constant  association  and 
instructive  conversation  of  the  Rev.  Mr.  Wareham,1  a  man  of 
high  culture  and  superior  attainments.  And  she  shared  too  in 
the  friendship  and  everyday  interests  of  life  with  the  Griswolds, 
the  Wolcotts,  and  other  notable  families  who  were  originally  from 
the  cultivated  homes  of  England. 

Such  a  life,  trained  in  an  industrial  education,  quickened  the 
faculties,  heightened  the  abilities,  and  gave  that'  firmness  of 
character  which  adorned  the  women  of  those  times.  As  her 
children  came  into  her  arms  one  by  one,  no  doubt  her  aspirations 
for  them  reached  above  the  tree  tops  that  swung  over  the  roof  of 
her  home  in  the  forests,  and  beyond  the  thickets  and  briers  and 
brush  that  belted  their  domain. 

And  now  that  she  had  folded  her  arms  and  laid  her  down,  and 
the  grave  closed  over  her  while  they  were  all  yet  young,  she  had 
done  well  her  work.  Every  one  of  her  children,  as  time  brought 
them  to  mature  years,  took  an  honorable,  and  most  of  them  a 
prominent  position  in  interests  connected  with  Church  and  com- 
munity, and  were  living  evidences  of  the  united  care  and  training 
of  their  parents,  as  well  as  of  the  worthy  example  they  set  before 
them  in  right  living. 

Her  grave,  if  it  ever  had  a  memorial  stone,  cannot  be  found — 
every  vestige  of  it  has  been  swept  away  by  Time,  that 

"  Old  ruin-maker,  gnawer  of  tombstones, 
Father  of  buried  centuries  : 

Who  dost  not  hesitate  to  lay  thine 
Envious  tooth  upon  the  hardest  monuments 
That  man  hath  reared." 

The  following  entry  is  preserved  in  the  ancient  Records  at 

"Mrs.  Hannah  Higley,  whose  maiden  name  was  Drake,  departed  this  life  in  ye 
year  of  our  Lord  God  1694,  August  4  day." 

1  See  chapter  iii.  a  Book  i.  leaf  3. 


A  good  life  writes  its  own  memorial  and  tablet  day  by  day. — HENRY  WARD  BEECHER. 

CAPTAIN  JOHN  HIGLEY  did  not  resume  his  seat  in  the  General 
Assembly  the  year  succeeding  his  wife's  decease, — 1695, — nor 
again  until  the  year  1698.  It  appears  from  the  records  that  no 
representatives  were  sent  from  Simsbury  to  the  May  sessions  of 
1695-96.  These,  with  the  sessions  of  1690  and  1703,  are  the 
only  years  in  which  he  did  not  serve  as  a  member  of  that  legisla- 
tive body  from  1689  to  1711. 

His  second  marriage  took  place  about  1696.  Sarah  Strong 
Bissell,  who  became  his  second  wife,  was  the  daughter  of  Return 
Strong,  of  one  of  the  good  old  families  of  Windsor,  Conn.  She 
was  an  old  acquaintance,  and  there  existed  a  family  connection, 
her  husband,  Joseph  Bissell,  being  a  first  cousin  to  John  Higley's 
first  wife,  Hannah. 

Sarah  Strong  Bissell  was  born  March  14,  1666,  and  married 
Joseph  Bissell,  July  7,  1686.  Joseph  Bissell  was  the  grandson  of 
Deacon  John  Moore,  Sr.  On  both  sides  of  Sarah  Bissell's  family 
she  was  of  a  lineage  distinguished  in  Colonial  annals  for  contain- 
ing some  of  the  foremost  characters  of  Puritan  belief  among  the 
founders  of  New  England.  Elder  John  Strong,  her  paternal 
grandfather,  is  historically  known  as  one  of  the  first  and  most 
active  founders  of  the  towns  of  Taunton  and  Northampton, 
Mass.,1  and  upon  her  mother's  side  she  was  the  granddaughter 

1  The  Strong  family^n  England  was  originally  located  in  Shropshire.  One  of  the  family 
married  an  heiress  of  Griffeth  of  the  County  of^Caernarvon,  Wales,  in  1561.  In  I596he  removed  to 
Taunton,  Somersetshire,  England,  where  he  died  in  1613,  leaving  a  son,  John,  then  eight  years  of 
age,  and  a  daughter,  Eleanor.  John  Strong  was  born_in  Taunton,  England,  in  1605,  whence  he  re- 
moved to  London,  and  afterwards  to  Plymouth.  Having  decided  Puritan  principles,  he  sailed  from 
Plymouth  for  the  New  World,  March  20,  1630,  in  company  with  Revs.  John  Wareham,  Maverick, 
Mason,  John  Moore,  the  Drakes,  and  Roger  Clap,  in  the  ship  Mary  and  John.  The  grandfather 
of  Elder  John  Strong  was,  as  tradition  informs  us,  a  Roman  Catholic,  and  lived  to  a  great  age.  In 
1635,  after  having  assisted  in  founding  and  developing  the  town  of  Dorchester,  Mass.,  John  Strong 
removed  to  Hingham,  Mass.  Here  his  stay  was  short,  as  on  December  4,  1638,  he  is  found  to  be 
an  inhabitant  and  proprietor  of  Taunton,  Mass.  He  remained  at  Taunton  until  1645,  and  was 
deputy  to  the  General  Court  in  Plymouth,  Mass.,  1641-44.  From  Taunton  he  removed  to  Windsor, 
Conn.,  where  he  was  appointed,  with  four  others,  "to  superintend  and  bring  forward  the  settlement 
of  that  place."  In  1659  he  removed  from  Windsor  to  Northampton,  Mass.,  of  which  town  he  was 
one  of  the  founders.  In  Northampton  he  lived  forty  years,  and  was  a  leading  man  in  the  affairs  of 
the  Church  and  the  town.  He  was  a  tanner,  and  very  prosperous  in  business.  He  was  ordained 
elder  of  the  church,  March  13,  1663.  His  first  wife,  whose  name  is  not  known,  died  on  the  pas- 
sage to  America,  leaving  two  children.  In  December,  1630,  he  married  Abigail  Ford  of  Dorcester, 



of  the  Rev.  John  Wareham,  who  was  the  most  distinguished 
person  who  came  to  our  shores  in  the.Winthrop  fleet;  if  we  except 
Winthrop  himself.  Return  Strong,  her  father,  "was  the  sixth 
child  of  Elder  John  Strong.1  He  was  born  in  1641  and  on  the 
nth  of  May,  1664,  married  Sarah,  daughter  of  Rev.  Mr.  Wareham. 
He  was  a  tanner  by  trade,  and  a  man  of  large  estates.  His  wife 
died,  Dec.  26th  1678,  at  the  age  of  thirty-six  years.  Return 
Strong  removed  in  later  years  to  Northampton,  Mass.,  where  he 
died  April  gth  1726." 

Sarah  was  the  eldest  child  of  his  family.  Joseph  Bissell,  her 
first  husband,  died  August  3,  1689,  leaving  her  a  young  widow 
with  one  child — Joseph,  Jr.  On  the  7th  of  December  following, 
four  months  after  his  father's  decease,  another  son  was  born, 
whom  she  called  Benoni,"  "  the  son  of  my  sorrow." 

Mrs.  Sarah  Bissell  assumed  many  responsibilities  when  she 
entered  the  home  of  her  husband,  Captain  Higley,  with  her  two 
children  and  became  the  second  mother  to  his  family  of  nine 
children.  They  began  life  together  with  a  household  of  eleven 
children.  It  seems,  however,  that  her  intuitive  mind  coped  well 
with  the  great  task  before  her.  As  the  duties  came  to  her  one 
after  another,  both  of  a  social  and  domestic  nature,  she  faithfully 
fulfilled  them.  It  is  easy  to  detect  the  results  of  her  excellent 
motherhood  to  her  husband's  children  as  well  as  her  own,  espe- 
cially the  younger  ones,  by  a  decided  religious  influence  growing 
out  of  her  life  in  the  household.  And  she  seems  to  have  given 
them  the  sympathy  born  of  a  true  woman's  love,  since  we  find 
them,  both  elder  and  younger,  using  affectionate  terms  respect- 
ing her.  It  was  always  "Our  dear  mother,"  even  in  business 
entries  and  transactions  years  later,  of  which  there  were  many 
after  their  father's  decease. 

In  1697  Captain  Higley's  tenth  child  was  born,  to  whom  was 
given  the  name  of  her  mother — Sarah. 

"  This  was  a  year,"  says  Governor  Wolcott,  "  of  great  scarcity 
and  mortality.  The  summer  was  cool  and  cloudy — not  a  month 

01  wnom  naa  lammes.  n is  son  i  nomasnaa  sixteen  cnuaren,  jeaeaian  naa  lourieen,  oamuci  nai 
twelve.  His  grandson  Jonathan  had  seventeen.  His  son  Return  Strong  settled  at  Windsor, 
Conn. — Condensed  from  History  of  the  Strong  Family ,  by  B.  \V.  Dwight, 

1  "  History  of  Strong  Family." 

5  Joseph  Bissell,  Jr.,  born  March  21, 1687,  lived  to  have  a  grandson,  Benjamin  Bissell,  born  October 
i,  1720.  Benoni  Bissell  lived  to  seventy-one  years  of  age,  and  died  August  26,  1761,  an  honored 
and  respected  citizen.  There  are  many  reasons  for  the  conclusion  that  both  of  these  sons  were 
brought  up  with  Captain  John  Higley's  family. 


without  frost  in  it;  the  winter  was  very  long  and  severe.  In 
February  and  March  the  snow  was  very  high  and  hard.  There 
was  a  great  cry  for  bread;  the  cattle  perishing  in  the  yards  for 
want;  the  sickness  was  very  distressing  and  mortal."1  On  the 
loth  of  November  the  same  year,  Rev.  Dudley  Woodbridge  was 
ordained  pastor  of  the  Simsbury  church. 

In  the  year  1698,  Captain  John  Higley  is  again  found  a  member 
of  the  Colonial  legislature.  At  the  May  session  an  act  was  passed 
that  the  October  sessions  should  afterward  be  held  in  New  Haven. 
This  involved,  for  our  legislator,  a  tedious  journey  on  horseback, 
through  forest-lined  bridle  paths,  the  underbrush  grown  in 
tangle  mass,  and  across  unbridged  swollen  streams,  through 
which  he  must  swim  his  horse.  This  was  the  only  method  of 
travel  by  land,  in  those  times  there  being  no  wheeled  vehicles. 

The  next  year,  1699,  occurred  the  birth  of  his  son  Nathaniel, 
who  is  found  upon  record  in  after  time  as  a  man  of  fine  abilities 
and  uprightness  of  character. 

Captain  Higley  appears  to  have  been  pursuing  his  busy  avoca- 
tions with  the  energy  that  marked  his  earlier  years.  Marriages 
are  placed  upon  the  records  as  having  been  performed  by  him, 
and  his  appointments  in  local  matters  continued  many  and 

The  cause  of  higher  education  was  a  subject  discussed  with 
much  earnestness  by  the  learned  minds  in  the  colony,  who, 
grasping  the  needs  of  the  future,  saw  that  provision  for  mental 
culture  of  their  sons  upon  a  more  extended  basis  was  essential 
to  the  future  elevation  and  prosperity  of  the  rising  generations. 
It  was  also  their  desire  that  an  educated  ministry  should  be  provided 
for  within  the  limits  of  the  Connecticut  Colony.  The  standard 
at  the  schools  had  already  deteriorated,  and  they,  were  no  longer 
cheerfully  sustained.  The  result  was  the  birth  of  Yale  College. 

In  the  year  1700,  ten  ministers,  "nominated  by  general 
consent,  formed  themselves  into  a  society,"  and  proceeded  to 
carry  out  their  project,  among  whom  were  two  of  Captain  John 
Higley's  closest  friends  and  associates — the  Revs.  Samuel  Mather 
of  Windsor  and  Timothy  Woodbridge  of  Hartford.  In  October, 
1701,  the  Connecticut  Assembly  passed  an  act  to  establish  the 
"Collegiate  School,"  which  has  since  become  the  famous  seat  of 
learning — Yale  University.  The  charter  ordained  that  the  cor- 
poration should  consist  of  ministers  only.  The  founding  of  the 

1  Stiles'  "  History  of  Ancient  Windsor." 


institution  becomes  of  interest  in  these  pages  from  the  fact  that 
Captain  John  Higley  was  a  member  of  this  legislature  which 
granted  the  charter;  and  less  than  five  years  later,  being  one  of 
the  proprietors  of  the  valuable  mines  at  Copper  Hill,  was  a  lead- 
ing member  of  the  association  which  made  the  first  appropriation 
of  funds  toward  the  support  of  the  institution.  We  fancy  his 
enthusiasm  as  very  earnest  in  the  subject  of  advanced  educa- 
tional opportunities  for  young  men,  since  the  after  history  of 
his  own  large  family  shows  that  he  was  not  negligent  in  pro- 
moting its  education,  as  far  as  was  practicable  under  the  limited 
resources  of  that  day. 

The  eventful  changes  which  time  always  brings  to  a  large 
family  came  to  the  household  of  the  Higleys.  In  1701  twins 
were  born,  Joshua  and  Josiah,  one  of  whom — Joshua — died  an 
infant  of  seven  months;  and  during  the  same  year  the  first  mar- 
riage took  place,  that  of  Jonathan,  the  second  son,  to  Ann 
Barber.  In  1703  their  daughter  Abigail  was  born,  and  the  fol- 
lowing year  two  daughters  were  married,  Katherine,  a  gifted 
girl,  married  James  Noble  of  Westfield,  Mass.,  and  Hannah 
married  Joseph  Trumbull,  and  became  the  founder  of  a  family 
distinguished  in  American  history  through  several  generations. 
A  daughter  who  was  named  Susannah  was  born  in  1705,  and  two 
years  later,  on  July  20,  1707,  the  youngest  son  and  last  child, 
Isaac,  was  born.  It  was  about  this  period  that  his  eldest 
daughter,  Elizabeth,  married  Nathaniel  Bancroft.  Captain  John 
Higley  was  the  father  of  sixteen  children,  fifteen  of  whom  lived  to 
over  twenty-one  years  of  age,  and  thirteen  married  and  had  fami- 
lies. The  eldest  and  the  youngest  were  thirty-four  years  apart. 

Early  in  the  new  century  an  agitation  arose  in  the  Simsbury 
community  through  the  circulation  of  flying  reports  that  the  west- 
ern slope  of  the  Talcott  Mountain  contained  .valuable  deposits  of 
mineral,  and  was  especially  rich  in  copper  ore.  There  are  slight 
historical  intimations  that  this  fact  had  previously  been  surmised, 
but  no  definite  discovery  had  yet  been  made. 

These  elevated  lands,  which  have  since  been  known  as  Copper 
Hill,  were  yet  undivided,  and  were  still  held  by  the  original  pro- 
prietors of  the  town.  They  were  in  a  wild  state,  frequented  by 
the  Indians  as  a  hunting-ground. 

The  "Patent"  of  Simsbury,  it  will  be  remembered,  which  was 
confirmed  by  the  General  Court  to  the  proprietors  in  1685-86,  had 
been  reconfirmed  by  act  of  Court  in  1703. 


Thomas  Barber,  John  Higley,  Samuel  Wilcoxen,  and  John  Case, 
of  the  original  patentees,  were  still  living. 

Near  the  close  of  1705,  at  a  town  meeting,  the  following  resolu- 
tion was  passed,  which  was  entered  upon  the  Records  : ' 

"  There  being  a  report  made  in  the  town-Meeting  of  eithor  a  silver  or  Copor  min  or  minorall 
found  within  the  Lymitts  of  the  township  of  Simsbury,  eastwardly,  as  the  town  being  moot 
together  December  the  i8th  1705,  did  mak  chuse  of  Decon  Holcomb  and  John  Pettibone  Junr.  to 
mak  sorch  for  the  same,  bring  in  an  account  of  the  same  to  the  next  meeting. 

"  Voted  in  the  affirmative." 

The  report  of  the  above  committee  was  evidently  favorable, 
though  it  is  not  found  upon  record.  An  association  was  formed, 
composed  of  the  landed  proprietors  of  the  town,  and  at  a  town 
meeting  held  May  6,  1707,*  the  subject  was  taken  up  in  a  practical 
manner.  Various  resolutions  were  passed,  and  different  commit- 
tees were  appointed  "in  referance  to  the  coppor  affaires  now  in 
hand."  It  was  "propownded  to  the  people  to  give  their  freedom 
to  chose  a  committee  to  treat  with  workman."  A  contract  was 
drawn  and  presented  at  a  "Subscribers'"  meeting,  held  on  the 
i7th  of  May,  in  which  the  association  "agreed  to  pay  the  town  io8 
on  each  ton  of  copper  produced  which  should  create  a  fund  for 
educational  purposes."  Two-thirds  was  appropriated  for  the  sup- 
port "of  an  able  schoolmaster"  in  Simsbury,  and  the  other  one- 
third  was  voted  to  the  "Collegiate  School" — Yale.  A  certain 
amount  went  to  the  Crown  of  England  as  revenue.  "  The  residue 
of  profits  was  to  be  divided  among  the  partners  pro-rata,  accord- 
ing to  the  amount  of  their  respective  shares."  Jonathan  Higley, 
the  second  son  of  Captain  John  Higley,  was  one  of  the  signers  to 
the  agreement. 

An  acrimonious  controversy  followed,  between  the  proprietors 
of  the  town  and  the  townspeople.  The  pitch  of  excitement  con- 
cerning the  valuable  lands  ran  high,  and  there  was  sharp  diver- 
gence of  opinion  between  the  two  factions  claiming  supreme 
rights.  A  great  ado  was  made  over  the  richness  of  the  "find,"  and 
the  people  who  laid  claim  believed  themselves  upon  the  verge  of 
immense  wealth. 

At  this  time  Captain  Higley  owned  the  largest  quantity  of  land 
in  the  township,  and  was  the  heaviest  taxpayer.  Lieutenant 
Thomas  Barber — the  father-in-law  of  his  son  Jonathan,  who  had 
also  increased  his  estates — stood  next  on  the  list.  Captain  Higley 
had  now  three  sons  who  were  men  of  full  age, — John,  Jonathan, 

1 "  Simsbury  Records,"  book  ii.  p.  79.  *  "  Simsbury  Records,"  book  ii.  pp.  84,  85. 


and  Brewster, — all  landholders.  The  representation  of  the  Higley 
family  was  therefore  very  considerable.  And,  always  vigilant  in 
business,  it  is  a  matter  to  be  noted,  how  keenly  alive  they  appear 
to  have  been  through  this  contest  to  their  own  family  interests. 

They  were  careful  to  be  represented  in  all  the  meetings,  and 
generally  some  one  of  them  had  a  place  in  the  committees  which 
were  appointed.  On  the  2Qth  of  July,  1707,  a  severe  protest  by 
the  "aristocratic"  landed  proprietors  is  recorded  on  the  books, 
claiming  that  "The  Towne  by  vote  having  sequestored  the 
coppor-mins  that  are  commons  in  said  towne  of  Simsbury  for 
their  own  benefit  .  .  .  and  their  having  been  some  persons  pre- 
tending themselves  to  be  the  only  proprietors  of  ye  said  copor 
mines,  have  in  a  very  disorderly  Sacactilgious  [sacrilegious  ?] 
manner  given  away  the  right  and  benefit  of  the  said  Coper  mines, 
to  some  persons  which  are  unconcerned  in  the  towne,  which  is 
greatly  to  the  disturbance  of  the  peace  of  many  principall  persons 
in  Sd  towne,  Pantentees,  proprietors  and  Inhabitants.  [Here 
follows  protest]  against  such  unrighteous,  and  irregular,  unjust 
dealings  and  actions,  and  We  do  hereby  protest  against  the  .  .  . 
[illegible]  of  all  or  any  such  unjust  contracts,  or  votes  of  such 
pretenders,  in  our  towne  record  books.1 

[Signed]          "JOHN  HIGLEY,  Sen. 






The  controversies  over  the  copper-mining  district  were  finally 
carried  to  the  General  Assembly  in  1709,  when  a  commission 
was  appointed  to  settle  them.  For  many  years  litigation  was 
going  on,  during  which  the  proprietors  of  the  town  worked  the 
mines,  or  leased  them  to  other  parties  who  agreed  to  pay  a  per- 
centage upon  the  ore  produced. 

In  1721  the  mining  lands  were  divided,  and  Captain  John 
Higley's  sons  came  into  possession  of  a  fine  tract  of  the  mineral 
section. " 

These  mines  have  since  become  famous,  not  only  from  the  rich 

1  Book  ii.  "  Simsbury  Records,"  p.  85. 

*  The  reader  is  further  referred  to  the  sketch  of  Dr.  Samuel  Higley,  p.  115. 


quality  of  the  ore  which  they  yielded,  but  as  a  prison  fortress  of 
historic  interest  associated  with  the  American  Revolution.  The 
prison  was  called  after  the  name  of  the  "world-renowned"  prison 
of  London.  Says  Phelps  :  "  There  is  an  exciting  fascination  in 
the  eventful  history  of  this  Newgate  of  Connecticut."1 

"An  important  branch  of  the  trade  on  the  coast  of  New  England 
was  furnishing  the  Royal  navy  with  yards  and  bowsprits.  White 
pine  trees  over  two  feet  in  diameter  were  reserved  for  the  navy,  to 
be  used  for  masts,  which  were  at  that  time  made  of  one  piece."' 
At  the  October  session  of  the  General  Assembly,  1705,  Captain 
John  Higley  was  chosen  as  one  of  "Sundry  principall  gentleman 
in  this  and  other  governments  to  undertake  the  management  of 
procuring  masts,  and  other  navall  stores  for  the  supply  of  her 
fleet  (Lady  Queen  Ann)  and  other  shipping  of  the  nation."* 
Since  the  burning  of  Simsbury  in  March,  1676,  the  Indians  had 
not  slumbered.  The  inhabitants  had  never  been  free  from  fear 
and  imminent  danger  of  destruction,  and  were  still  obliged  to 
maintain  constant  watchfulness.  Simsbury  was  yet  on  the  fore- 
line  of  civilization.  The  French  were  in  possession  of  Canada, 
and  in  every  possible  way  they  were  moving  the  savages  to  attack 
the  English  settlers.  Roving  bands  were  constantly  skulking 
through  the  dense  forests,  and  were  likely  at  any  hour  to  suddenly 
wreak  vengeance  upon  those  innocent  of  provocation  for  wrongs 
they  conceived  somebody  had  done  them.  The  parsonage  at 
Simsbury  was  fortified  in  1690  ;  and  again  in  the  year  1700  old 
time  frontier  forts,  or  block-houses,  were  built.  "In  1707  there 
was  an  alarm  spread  that  the  Indians  comtemplated  an  invasion 
of  the  town,  when  the  Assembly  granted  seven  pounds  from  the 
treasury  to  fortify  it  ;  and  the  next  year,  a  further  grant  of  seven 
pounds  and  six  shillings  was  made,  to  pay  the  soldiers  belonging 
to  Simsbury,  who  had  been  employed  under  Captain  John  Higley, 
in  the  public  service"  It  was  also  ordered  about  this  time,  that 
"Two  faithful  and  trusty  men,  as  a  scout,  be  out  every  day,  to 
observe  the  motions  of  the  enemy."'  One  strong  fortification 
called  Great  Fort,  the  remains  of  which  are  still  to  be  found,  was 
built  in  1708,  by  order  of  the  General  Assembly,  with  colonial 

1  This  picturesque,  historic  spot,  though  now  but  little  known,  continues  to  be  a  place  of  intense 
interest  to  the  tourist.  He  will  be  well  repaid  to  seek  the  attractive  views  from  the  Talcott  Moun- 
tains and  Copper  Hill,  with  its  rock-hewn  caverns  fifty  feet  below  the  surface  which  are  ruins 
stored  with  remarkable  relics  of  the  past,  and  filled  with  tales  of  thrilling  horror.— ED. 

a  "  Connecticut  Colonial  Records,"  vol.  iv.  p.  535. 

*  Phelps'  "  History  of  Simsbury,"  p.  33. 


funds,  and  was  "located  in  Higley-town,  probably  through  the 
sagacity  and  legislation  of  our  untiring  hero,  who  would  neglect 
no  opportunity  for  the  direct  benefit  of  his  own  immediate  domain. 
The  garrison  was  within  a  half  a  mile  of  his  house. 

In  the  autumn  of  1707  the  community  was  thrown  into  a  high 
state  of  alarm  and  solicitude  at  the  capture  by  the  Indians  of 
Daniel  Hayes,  who  was  a  neighbor  of  Captain  Higley,  and  no 
doubt  on  intimate  friendly  terms  with  his  family.  He  was  a  young 
man,  twenty-two  years  of  age.  He  was  carried  to  Canada  and 
sold,  and  there  kept  in  captivity  nearly  six  years  before  he  could 
succeed  in  getting  released.  During  this  time  his  experiences 
were  thrilling,  and  were  sometimes  attended  with  barbarity. 
From  the  hour  when  he  was  kidnaped,  near  to  his  home,  he  heard 
nothing  from  his  relatives  or  friends,  and  they,  hearing  no  tidings 
of  him,  gave  him  up  as  dead.  Every  effort  was  made  by  the 
people  of  the  neighborhood  to  find  the  captive,  but  their  pursuit 
was  without  avail.  The  Indians  finally  sold  him  to  a  Frenchman 
in  Montreal,  who  kindly  opened  the  way  for  him  to  earn  money 
to  purchase  his  freedom,  and  sent  an  Indian  guide  to  accompany 
him  down  the  Connecticut  valley  far  enough  to  "point  to  him  the 
smokes  of  his  friends,  '  the  pale  faces.'  "  * 

The  recent  defense  in  the  warlike  threatening,  with  French  and 
Indians,  brought  an  increased  burden  of  taxation,  and  caused  even 
greater  scarcity  of  specie  than  had  heretofore  existed.  The 
colony  had  always  been  embarrassed  for  want  of  circulating  cash. 
There  was  little  actual  money  passing.  "Provision  pay  "was 
therefore  resorted  to  as  the  legitimate  exchange  in  business  trans- 
actions. On  the  town  records  it  is  seen,  "that  one  Thomas 
Bacon  mortgaged  his  farm  to  Capt.  John  Higley,  for  the  full  and 
just  summ  of  £8,  in  current  wheat,  peas,  and  Indian  Corn,  at 
equal  proportions  at  current  market  price."  a 

1  The  following  act  was  passed  by  the  General  Assembly,  October,  1713  :  "  Upon  consideration 
of  the  petition  of  Daniel  Hayes  of  Simsbury,  having  been  taken  by  the  Indian  enemie  and  carried 
captive  to  Canada — praying  for  some  releife  :  This  Assembly  do  grant  unto  the  petitioner  the  sum  of 
seven  pounds  to  be  paid  him  out  of  the  public  treasury  of  this  Colony." — Connecticut  Colonial 

A  fuller  narrative  of  Daniel  Hayes  than  is  here  given,  may  be  found  in  "Newgate  of  Connecti- 
cut," p.  103.  He  lived  in  the  village  of  Salmon-Brook,  to  the  good  age  of  seventy-one,  "  a  thriving 
agriculturist,  and  a  respected  citizen."  A  monument,  still  standing,  marks  the  spot  of  his  last 
resting-place  in  the  village  cemetery. 

5  Book  i.  "  Simsbury  Land  Records." 


Have  left  a  name  behind  them. — Eccltsiasticus  xliv.  8. 

NUMEROUS  transactions  in  the  purchase  and  sale  of  lands,  aside 
from  Captain  John  Higley's  public  career,  were  apparently  the 
chief  feature  of  his  private  business  interests  after  his  removal  to 
Simsbury.  By  judicious  investments  in  lands  he  found  himself, 
in  the  prime  of  life,  with  large  possessions — from  the  standpoint 
of  those  times — of  ever-growing  values.  For  several  years  he 
enjoyed  the  distinction  of  being  the  largest  taxpayer  in  the 
township,  and  as  the  owner  of  these  estates  his  assessments 
exceeded  in  amount  those  paid  by  any  fellow-citizen.  Before 
his  decease  he  settled  lands  upon  those  of  his  children  who  had 
arrived  at  full  age. 

From  business  transactions  found  on  record,  it  would  seem 
that  he  was  yet  in  the  midst  of  his  engrossing  interests  as  the 
twilight  of  his  active  life  was  approaching,  when  night  suddenly 
fell — he  left  mortality  and  passed  peacefully  into  the  silent-land. 
He  lived  three  weeks  beyond  his  sixty-fifth  birthday.  The  entry 
upon  the  Simsbury  records  is  as  follows  : 

"  Cap*-  John  Higley  departed  this  life  August  25th  1714." 

Of  the  disease  and  illness  which  ended  in  his  death,  no  mention 
is  made  in  private  memoranda  yet  discovered,  further  than  that 
he  was  attended  by  his  friend  and  physician,  Dr.  Samuel  Mather 
of  Hartford,  and  that  toward  the  last,  probably  when  there  was 
grave  apprehension  that  his  life  must  be  despaired  of,  Dr.  Haston 
was  called  into  consultation.  He  was  laid  to  rest  by  the  side  of 
his  brother-in-law,  John  Drake.  His  grave  is  yet  to  be  seen  in 
the  old  Hop-Meadow  (Simsbury)  burying-ground,  directly  in  the 
rear  of  the  site  where  the  first  meetinghouse  of  the  town  once 
stood,  and  near  to  the  tablet  monuments  of  the  Revs.  Dudley  and 
Timothy  Woodbridge. 

The  tombstone  is  a  neat  red  sandstone  slab,  standing  two  feet 



high,  with  a  tasteful  panel  around  the   face   of  it,  bearing  the 
following  inscription  : 


DteO  august 


From  the  ancient  account  book  in  which  his  executors  kept 
their  accounts  in  the  settlement  of  Captain  Higley's  estate,  we 
extract  some  of  the  expenses  incurred  upon  the  occasion  of  his 
death,  mainly  made  up  of  the  funeral  costs,  which  contrast 
strangely  with  the  heavy  funeral  expenses  of  the  present  day. 
The  entries  are  in  the  clear-handed  penmanship  of  his  son,  Dr. 
Samuel  Higley.  The  fact  of  the  first  and  most  important  item 
used  on  the  day  of  his  decease  being  rum,  seems  scarcely  credible 
in  our  day.  Yet  this  was  the  custom  in  "ye  olden  time."  "A 
colonial  funeral,"  says  Eggleston,  "deserved  to  rank  as  a  festive 
occasion  —  a  time  of  much  eating  and  a  great  deal  of  drinking."  l 
The  emblems  of  "mourning"  supplied  consisted  of  black  ribbon 
for  badges  and  trimmings.  As  the  ten  elder  children  were  grown, 
and  the  most  of  them  were  married,  it  is  likely  they  provided 
their  own  somber  habiliments. 

By  special  provision  of  the  town  meeting,  a  citizen  stood 
appointed  ''to  mak  coffins  for  our  Townspeople."  "Unkel 
Holcom"set  about  making  a  coffin,  while  Mary  Holcombe,  who 
appears  to  have  been  a  useful  busybody  who  repeatedly  rendered 
service  in  the  household,  invaded  the  kitchen  to  make  ample  prep- 
aration for  the  expected  funeral  guests. 

Rev.  Timothy  Woodbridge  was  at  that  time  the  settled  pastor 
of  the  church  at  Simsbury,  but  we  cannot  say  whether  or  not 
he  officiated  at  the  funeral  services.  Some  of  the  towns  were 
about  this  time  deviating  from  the  customs  of  the  earliest  New 
Englanders,  who  "  followed  the  body  in  silence  to  the  grave 
'without  funeral  service  of  any  sort,  lest  they,  '  confirme  the  popish 
error  that  prayer  is  to  bee  used  for  the  dead';"1  and  it  may 
have  been  that  the  Rev.  Mr.  Woodbridge  conducted  prayers  at 
the  house,  or  at  the  grave. 

Captain  John  Higley's  will,  the  original  copy  of  which  is  still 
extant,"  bears  the  date,  May  6,  1714  —  three  months  before  his 

1  Edward  Eggleston,  in  "  Social  Life  in  the  Colonies,"  The  Century,  1884. 
a"  Hartford  Probate  Records,"  vol.  ix.  p.  41. 


death.     He  constitutes  his  two  sons,  John,  Jr.,  and  Samuel,  the 
executors  of  his  estate. 

"The  Last  WILL  and  TESTAMENT  of  John  Higley  of  Symsbury,  in  the  County  of  Hartford,  and 
Colony  of  Connecticut,  in  New  England,  which  is  as  followeth — Being  under  many  weaknesses, 
age,  and  infirmities  of  body,  but  of  Sound  Judgement  and  understanding  and  not  knowing  how  soon 
the  time  of  my  dissolution  will  be,  I  do  therefore  Committ  my  Soul  into  the  hands  of  God  who 
gave  it,  and  my  body  to  the  earth  for  a  decent  and  Christian  burial),  Expecting  by  faith  a 
Glorious  Resurrection.  And  as  for  those  worldly  goods,  which  God  in  his  Providence  hath 
bestowed  on  me,  I  thus  dispose  of  them  when  my  Just  Debts  and  funeral!  charges  are  paid. 

"Imprimis^  I  give  unto  my  loving  Wife  Sarah  one  third  part  of  my  moveable  goods  of  Housing 
Stuf  and  Utencells  thereto  belonging  to  her  disposall  as  She  Sees  cause  to  dispose  of  them  to  my 
children  by  her  ;  Alsoe,  I  give  her  that  third  part  of  moveables  of  her  former  Husbands  [Joseph 
Bissell]  Estate  which  is  yet  undivided.  I  Likewise  give  unto  her  the  one  third  part  of  this  my  Reai 
Estate,  here  in  Symsbury,  with  the  Use  of  my  now  Dwelling  house  during  the  term  of  Nathaniall's 
life,  or  as  long  as  She  continueth  my  Widow,  and  if  by  the  providence  of  God  She  be  Married 
again.  She  Shall  be  allowed  by  my  Executors  Six  pounds  a  year,  for  the  third  of  my  Real  Estate 
during  life,  to  be  disposed  of  by  her,  among  my  Children  by  her. 

"Item.  I  give  to  my  Eldest  Son  John  Higley,  a  double  portion  out  of  my  whole  Estate,  and  to 
the  rest  of  my  Sons,  Jonathan,  Brewster,  Joseph  and  Samuel,  Nathanel,  Josiah  and  Isaac,  to  each 
of  them  a  Single  portion  out  of  my  whole  Estate,  with  what  either  of  them  has  already  Received. 

"Hem.  1  give  unto  my  daughters  Katherine,  Hannah.  Elizabeth,  and  Mindwell,  Sarah,  Susan- 
nah, and  Abigail  to  each  of  them  half  so  much  as  to  each  of  my  Sons,  Excepting  John,  out  of  my 
Estate,  with  what  Either  of  them  have  already  received  at  Marriage,  to  be  paid  to  them  in  Twelve 
months  after  my  decease,  or  at  Eighteen  years  of  age,  by  my  Executors  hereafter  mentioned. 

"Item.  My  Will  further  is  that  my  Sons  Shall  have  all  my  Lands,  they  paying  to  their  Sisters 
what  is  wanting  of  the  moveables  to  make  up  their  portions. 

"Item.  All  the  lands  which  I  have  at  Windsor,  which  came  by  my  first  Wife,  I  give  to  my  five 
Eldest  Sons  which  I  had  by  her,  in  equall  Share,  they  paying  to  their  four  eldest  Sisters  twenty 
shillings  each. 

"Item.  I  give  my  wearing  apparell  unto  my  Youngest  Sons,  viz.,  Nathaniel,  Josiah  and  Isaac, 
and  provided  that  Either  of  them,  or  their  Sisters  shall  dye  before  they  are  of  age  their  por- 
tion Shall  be  divided  among  their  Survivors. 

"Item.  AH  my  books,  bonds,  bills,  and  debts  standing  out  I  leave  with  my  Executors,  and 
hereby  Impower  them  for  to  Recover  and  cause  to  be  added  to  the  Inventory  of  my  whole  Estate, 
they  being  Reasonably  paid  for  their  pains  and  Costs. 

"And  I  do  hereby  Appoint,  Authorize,  and  Constitute  my  loving  Sons  John  Higley,  and  Samuel 
Higley  to  be  my  Executors  to  this  my  last  Will  and  Testament.  In  Witness  whereof  I  have  here- 
unto Sett  my  hand  and  fixed  my  Seal,  this  the  Six  day  of  May,  in  the  year  of  our  Lord,  God,  One 
thousand  Seven  Hundred  and  fourteen,  and  in  the  twelth  Year  of  the  Reign  of  Anne  of  Great 
Britain,  Queen  &c.  Anno  Dom.  1714. 

"  Signed  and  Sealed  ,  — - *—  . 

in  presence  of  Witness,  JOHN  HlGLEV." 

JOHN  CASK,  1  SEAL>  f 

THOMAS  HOLCOMB,  — -v—  ' 



The  inventory  of  the  estate  was  taken  the  3oth  of  December, 
and  is  full  of  curious  details.  It  was  the  custom  of  the  times  to 
record  minutely  the  smallest  personal  belongings,  and  from  these 
inventories  we  learn  something  of  the  daily  habits  of  the  deceased 

The  following  extracts  show  the  quantity  and  value  of  lands 
Captain  John  Higley  held  at  the  time  of  his  decease,  after  having 
settled  portions  upon  his  children  who  had  reached  a  legal  age  : 

"94  acres,  formerly  Simon  Wolcott's,  .£200;  20  acres  adjacent  to  the  west  side,  £to  ;  10  acres 
called  'the  Strap,'  .£20;  40  acres  marsh  and  upland  adjoining,  £10  ',  14  acres  east  side  the  river 
against  the  94,  £10  ',  42  acres  upland  with  house  and  barn,  £80;  32  acres  up  the  brook  called 
'  Simon's  Brook.'  £15  ;  100  acres  at  a  place  called  N.  E.  corner,  £25  ; »  100  acres  Pine-plain  toward 
Salmon-Brook,  .£20  ;  20  acres  bought  of  Jute  Hayt,  ,£50  ;  38  acres  at  Salisbury,  ,£14." 

His  lands  at  Windsor  were  given  to  his  elder  children,  and  are 
not  described. 

1  "  The  N.  E.  corner  "  was  afterward  called  "  Turkey  Hills,"  and  is  now  East  Granby,  Conn. 



Among  his  books  mentioned  are  a  "Physic  Book,"  45.,  Con- 
cordance, 45.,  Sermon  Book  35.,  Psalm  Book,  3  Sermon  Books, 
and  sundry  "old  books." 

His  clothing,  as  is  shown  by  the  will,  was  bequeathed  to  his 
three  youngest  sons.  Among  the  articles  named  was  a  "broad- 
cloth coat  lined  with  shalloone,"  and  a  "heavy  coat."  In  the 
list  is  his  "  sword,  a  sword  belt,  etc.,  155.,  a  gun,  125.,  small  gun, 
2os.,  caps  and  pistols,  245.,  a  pair  of  brass  scales  and  weights  used 
for  weighing  coin,  8s.,  an  hour  glass."  (There  were  no  clocks  in 
New  England  in  those  times. )  His  equipments  for  traveling  (as 
there  were  no  carriages  or  wagons)  were  "a  saddle  and  furniture, 
1 8s.,  a  bridle,  45.,  '  portmantle, '  mail  pillion,  straps,  and  spurs, 
135."  There  are  quantities  of  household  articles,  farming  imple- 
ments, and  live  stock  catalogued,  and  the  essential  "cydar  press." 
The  inventory  of  personal  effects  was  appraised  at  ^605  35.  id.  In 
the  executor's  account  are  to  be  seen  the  original  autographs  of 
several  of  Captain  Higley's  heirs  signed  as  receipts  for  moneys 
paid  to  them:  "Nathaniel  Bancroft  for  my  wife  Elizabeth." 
"  Sary,"  "  Kateron,"  "Abigail,"  "Susana,"and  "Isaac."  The 
book  contains  other  signatures  in  connection  with  various  mat- 
ters, among  which  are  John,  Jr.,  Jonathan,  Brewster,  Samuel,  and 
"Josias."  Mindwell  Hutchason  "alias  Higley "  of  Lebanon, 
Conn.,  received  "the  sum  of  wun  pound  in  money"  from  John 
Higley,  executor,  January  10,  1723.  The  receipt  is  signed- by 
"Abigail  Thorp  alias  Higley."  By  the  following  entries  taken 
from  the  same  book,  it  would  appear  that  the  staple  articles  of 
living  were  rye,  Indian  corn,  and  pork. 























3  bushels  Indian  corn  ,  

a  bu    %  R  y  

To  one  bushel  %  Ry  






Jan.  1720 



Jan.  1729 




















By  fifteen  pounds  pork  out  of  bbl.  by  Nathanel  at  60  O  bbl  

8            "        Flax  by  Nathaniel.  

The  distribution  of  Captain  Higley's  estates  was  ordered  by 
the  Court  in  Hartford,  May  10,  1720.  This  distribution  seems 
to  have  been  set  aside  and  a  new  one  took  place  April  i,  1723. 
There  appears  to  have  been  some  disagreement  between  the 
guardians  of  the  younger  children  and  the  executors  previous  to 
the  final  distribution. 

Of  the  ancient  relics  there  are  but  few.  His  autograph  and  the 
old  account-book  containing  entries  by  Captain  Higley's  own 
hand,  the  latter  half  of  which  was  appropriated  by  his  executors 
for  items  concerning  his  estate,  has  survived  the  accidents  of 
more  than  two  centuries,  and  is  now  held  in  high  value  by  his 
descendants.  It  has  reached  this  day  well  preserved  through  the 
care  of  his  son  Brewster's  line  of  descent,  and  is  now  in  possession 
of  Miss  Emma  L.  Higley  of  Vermont. 

A  venerable  walking-stick  has  come  down  to  the  present  gen- 
eration through  the  line  of  another  son,  Dr.  Samuel  Higley,  and 
is  in  the  hands  of  Jonathan  Higley,  Esq.,  of  Ashtabula  County, 
Ohio.  It  is  marked  in  clear  lettering,  "J.  H.  1714."  The 
carving  was  probably  done  by  Samuel's  hand  near  the  time  of  his 
father's  death. 

His  compass,  which  was  the  essential  accompaniment  and  guide 
in  his  journeys  about  the  wilderness,  has  descended  to  the 
seventh  generation,  and  is  owned  by  Milo  H.  Higley,  Esq.,  of 
Meigs  County,  Ohio. 

A  pair   of  ancient  balances,  such  as  were  used  for  weighing 


money,  etc.,  which  belonged  either  to  Captain  John  Higley,  or 
his  son,  Brewster,  or  perhaps  to  both,  is  in  the  possession  of 
Alfred  Higley,  Esq.,  of  Middlebury,  Vt.  It  is  supposed  that 
these  are  the  same  which  are  mentioned  in  the  inventory. 

Captain  Higley's  second  wife,  Sarah,  survived  him  twenty-five 
years.  In  February,  1716,  she  was  appointed  the  guardian  of  her 
daughter,  Abigail.  She  appears  to  have  removed  from  the  home 
farm  at  Simsbury  in  the  spring  of  1725,  and  returned  with  the 
younger  children  of  the  family  to  Windsor,  where  she  resided  the 
remainder  of  her  life.  She  died  at  the  age  of  seventy-three  years. 
The  record  of  her  decease  is  found  upon  the  Windsor  records  as 

follows  : 

"  Mrs.  Sarah  Higley  Dyed  may  the  27th  Anno  Dom.  1739." 

The  inventory  of  her  estate  was  taken  December  4,  1739,  and 
was  "presented  to  the  Court  by  her  son-in-law  Jonathan  Loomis 
and  Sarah  his  wife."  Jacob  and  Job  Drake  and  Timothy  Loomis 
were  the  appraisers.  Her  property  was  bequeathed  to  her  own 
children.  The  final  distribution  of  her  estate  was  not  made  until 
March  26,  1750.'  One  year  previous  to  this  date,  the  Probate 
Court  ordered  money  distributed  to  her  children,  Benoni  Bissell, 
Nathaniel,  Josiah,  and  Isaac  Higley,  Sarah  Loomis,  Susannah  Black- 
man,  and  "  to  the  heirs  of  Abigail  Thorp  their  mother's  part." 

The  children  of  Captain  John  Higley  were  as  follows  : 

John,          born  March  16,  1673. 

Jonathan,  "  February  16,  1675. 

Elizabeth,  "  March  13,  1677. 

Katherine,  "  August  7,  1679. 

Brewster,  "  1680." 

Hannah,  "  April  22,  1683. 

Joseph,  "  about  1685. 

Samuel,  "         "       1687. 

Mindwell,  "  "  1689. 

'Sarah,  "  "  1697. 

Nathaniel,  "  November  12,  1699. 

Joshua,  )  tw.  born  September  8   I70I 

Josiah,    ) 

Abigail,  "      November  4,  1703. 

Susannah,  "  1705. 

^Isaac,  "  July  20,  1707. 

1  "  Hartford  Probate  Records,"  vol.  xv.  a  Tradition  says  in  the  month  of  March. 








-C   •< 



Captain  John  Higley's  career  was  a  part  of  the  history  of  Sims- 
bury.  He  was  a  marvel  of  uniform  courage,  energy,  and  industry, 
and  must  have  possessed  almost  inexhaustible  vitality.  From 
the  first  knowledge  that  has  been  discovered  concerning  him,  he 
did  nothing  in  a  half-hearted  way,  and  his  earnestness  of  charac- 
ter and  vigorous  push  were  dominant  at  every  step.  He  left  no 
opportunity  for  rust  or  mold  to  gather  upon  any  part  of  his  busy 
years.  And  these  splendid  qualities,  coupled  with  a  wise  intelli- 
gence, caused  him  to  strike  good  blows  for  civilization  and 

He  came  to  America  with  little  to  indicate  the  signally  success- 
ful course  he  was  to  run.  His  education  could  not  have  given 
promise  of  achievement,  since  he  left  England  a  lad  of  not  yet 
seventeen  years.  It  is,  however,  very  probable  that  he  attended  a 
•regularly  established  school,  or  was  under  private  instruction,  and 
gathered  a  fair  English  education  before  the  time  of  his  father's 
death,  when  he  was  fourteen,  as  he  belonged  to  a  class  which 
considered  educational  interests  a  paramount  necessity.  He  added, 
no  doubt,  much  to  his  knowledge  after  his  arrival  in  this  country 
while  he  was  a  member  of  John  Drake's  household,  and  some- 
where he  obtained  advantages  for  the  study  of  English  common 
law.  The  fragments  left  of  his  penmanship  show  that  it  was 
excellent,  and  there  is  nothing  whatever  to  intimate  that  he  was 

While  no  pretense  to  social  eminence  on  his  part  can  be 
discovered,  he  was  well-born  and  well-bred.  On  Katherine 
Brewster's — his  mother's — side,  his  parentage  was  of  the  clergy- 
man's stock,  who  were  of  the  learned  and  refined  professional 
class  of  society.  When  but  a  boy  he  lived  with,  and  finally 
married  into,  a  family  whose  claim  to  family  Arms  was  perfectly 
legitimate  and  confirmed,  a  family  which  represented  the  English 

That  these  primitive  settlers  held  with  natural  adherence  to 
the  English  characteristics  apd  customs,  wherever  there  could  be 
adaptation  to  the  new  surroundings  in  a  new  country,  is  a  matter 
of  fact.  Though  amid  primitive  surroundings,  their  tastes  were 
not  primitive.  As  they  grew  richer,  and  their  facilities  increased, 
the  lines  of  influence  that  had  belonged  to  their  old  lives  were 
forces  that  gathered  strongly  about  their  present  circumstances. 
It  is  well  known  that  class  supremacy  and  social  lines  of  distinc- 
tion were  much  considered  in  those  days.  Our  hero  and  his 


family  moved  among  those  on  the  upper  rounds  of  the  social 

That  the  early  generations  of  Captain  Higley's  descendants  put 
on  the  full  coat  of  American  armor,  entered  wholly  into  the 
spirit  of  the  Federal  Government  when  it  was  established,  and 
have  always  maintained  the  rank  of  solid,  well-to-do,  substantial 
yeomanry,  and  that  many  have  risen  to  proud  heights  in  different 
exalted  stations,  is  upon  full  record  in  the  historical  annals  of 
New  England  and  other  sections  of  our  country. 

We  shall  never  know  how  Captain  John  Higley  gained  his  first 
knowledge  of  military  tactics,  but  conclude  that  he  was  initiated 
into  training  ranks  soon  after  he  came  to  America,  as  all  persons 
"above  the  age  of  sixteen  except  magistrates  and  Church  Offi- 
cials" were  required  "  to  beare  Arms."  ' 

The  military  spirit  of  this  honored  grandsire  emphatically 
descended  to  his  posterity.  The  honorable  position  which  he 
himself  occupied  has  been  already  shown.  It  is  impossible  to 
recapitulate  the  remarkable  war  history,  or  even  give  the  names 
of  the  long  succession  of  brave  soldiers  among  his  descendants 
who  have  gone  out  to  fight  our  country's  battles  and  give  her  aid 
when  aid  was  needed.  There  are  those  in  every  generation  who 
deserve  an  eminent  record  of  praise  for  their  self-devotion.  In 
the  history  of  all  the  wars  they  answered  to  the  call,  from  the 
very  first  Indian  troubles  down  to  the  latest  struggle — the  Civil 
War.  They  did  not  shrink  from  the  hardships  of  the  camp  or 
the  dangers  of  the  field.  They  were  of  the  noble  men  who  were 
there  before  the  victory  as  well  as  after,  and  who  stood  with 
unflinching  firmness  shoulder  to  shoulder  with  their  comrades, 
maintaining  the  ground.  Indeed  none  are  known  to  have  turned 
back  in  the  hottest  of  the  fight.  Few  such  parallels  in  one  family 
line  can  be  found,  where  so  many  men  served  in  the  rank  and  file 
of  the  common  soldier  in  so  many  different  generations. 

It  may  be  said  that  the  greater  number  did  excellent  and  noble 
service  in  the  downright  hard  life  of  the  private  in  the  ranks,  and 
it  was  the  few  who  rose  to  great  distinction  ;  though  among  them 
were  some  who  gained  the  prominence  of  generalship  and  stand 
in  conspicuous  places  in  the  nation's  annals. 

These  mingled  voices  of  Captain  John  Higley's  war  descend- 
ants speak,  from  scores  of  battle-fields  and  military  prisons  from 
which  many  never  returned,  of  lofty  heroism  and  patriotic  devo- 

1  "  Connecticut  Colonial  Records,"  1665-1667. 


tion.  With  inexpressible  gratitude  we  place  in  spirit,  upon  their 
unmarked  and  long-lost  graves,  as  well  as  on  those  marked,  the 
laureled  wreath  of  sacred  remembrance — 


"  On  Fame's  eternal  camping-ground 

Their  silent  tents  are  spread  : 
And  glory  guards  with  solemn  round 
The  bivouac  of  the  dead." 

The  brave  fellows  whose  lives  were  not  a  sacrifice  upon  the 
field  of  contest,  when  mustered  out  of  service  went  back  to  their 
working-clothes,  became  true  citizens  in  the  nation's  peace,  and 
have  joined  those  who  march  on,  among  private  citizens,  living 
quiet,  unostentatious  lives. 

There  is  not  a  glimmer  of  fact  to  confirm  the  tradition  afloat, 
that  Captain  John  Higley  ever  returned  to  his  native  land  more 
than  once  after  he  quitted  the  scenes  of  his  youth.  No  letters 
or  papers  are  extant  to  warrant  the  belief.  Nor  is  there  left 
upon  record  anything  concerning  his  stature  or  personal  appear- 
ance. If  we  measure  his  proportions  by  his  progeny,  we  may 
conclude  that  he  was  a  broad-shouldered,  hearty  specimen  of 
manhood,  of  commanding  physique,  full  six  feet  high,  and  possess- 
ing strength  in  proportion.  Old  family  letters  still  preserved, 
which  were  written  during  the  lifetime  of  those  who  lived  con- 
temporary with  his  youngest  son,  Isaac,  speak  of  Isaac's  unusually 
fine  proportions,  and  especially  his  height,  that  he  was  so  nobly 
tall — six  feet  and  five  inches — that  he  was  obliged  to  stoop  to 
enter  a  door  of  ordinary  height.  There  have  been  hundreds  of 
Captain  John  Higley's  lineal  descendants  living  in  the  different 
generations,  down  to  this  day,  who  are  noticeable  anywhere  for 
their  fine  figures  and  avoirdupois. 

At  this  late  period  we  cannot  analyze  the  life  of  Captain  John 
Higley,  but  from  the  few  helps  to  our  inferences,  the  essence  of 
it  was  a  sympathetic  temperament  and  highly  amiable  qualities. 
That  he  was  magnetic  and  possessed  an  open  and  full  nature 
there  is  no  question.  And  we  may  again  attest  this  fact  by  his 
posterity,  who  are  inheritors  of  his  blood.  If  he  were  sensitive 
and  sometimes  fiery  under  great  provocation,  his  anger  was  short- 
lived. His  wholesome  life,  which  was  both  popular  and  peace- 
able, brought  genial  good  fellowship,  and  consequently  many 


That  he  was  keen-sighted,  shrewd,  and  equal  to  good  bargain- 
ing has  been  elsewhere  alluded  to,  yet  there  is  not  a  shadow  to 
lead  us  to  suppose  that  he  was  not  at  all  times  strictly  correct 
and  just  in  his  dealings. 

We  are  warranted  in  believing  that  his  method  of  action  in 
public  affairs  was  in  accordance  with  the  wise  principle,  ''In 
essentials,  unity  ;  in  non-essentials,  liberty;  and  in  all  things, 
charity."  Though  it  is  conclusive  that  he  never  subscribed  to 
formal  religious  creeds,  he  evidently  practiced  the  better  require- 
ments of  the  Puritan's  rigid  administration,  or  he  could  not  have 
been  so  popular  with  that  church-governed  people  ;  but  he  did 
not  participate  in  the  austere  and  rigorous  measures  of  the  times. 
The  records  are  utterly  silent,  nor  can  there  be  found  proof  that 
he  took  part  in  the  prosecution  or  trial  of  any  case  in  which 
severity  in  judgment  and  public  punishment  was  likely  to  be  the 
final  decree,  unless  such  may  have  come  under  the  jurisdiction  of 
the  court  over  which  he  presided.  Though  he  was  a  member  of 
the  General  Assembly  in  1692,  and  was  present  at  the  discussion 
and  appointment  of  a  committee  to  take  in  hand  a  number  of 
alleged  witches,  he  is  not  heard  from.  Indeed,  except  in  connec- 
tion with  two  prominent  lawsuits,  one  of  which  was  concerning 
his  landed  rights  to  the  valuable  copper  mining-lands,  he  cannot 
be  traced  in  the  general  animosities  of  his  times. 

In  a  case  of  arbitration  which  claimed  his  judgment  by  appoint- 
ment of  the  General  Court,  the  parties  were  brought  together, 
the  appeal  was  withdrawn,  and  the  papers  were  ordered  to  be 
delivered  to  the  parties,  "they  having  determined  to  burn  them, 
both  plaintiff  and  defendant."  We  take  note  of  this  for  the 
reason  that  it  brings  out  a  native  trait  of  character  that  Captain 
Higley  left  as  an  inheritance  to  his  posterity,  many  of  whom,  to 
this  day,  possess  a  great  natural  aptitude  or  capacity  for  peace- 
making. If  the  "sins  of  the  fathers"  are  visited  "upon  the 
children,  and  upon  the  children's  children  unto  the  third  and  to 
the  fourth  generation,"  we  may  well  conclude  that  their  virtues 
also  course  through  the  channels  of  transmission,  and  are  as  well 
a  legacy  of  truly  noble  and  God-blessed  gifts,  received  by  the  heirs 
in  generations  following. 

Thirteen  of  Captain  John  Higley's  children  lived  to  be  married 
and  to  have  families.  One  son  lived  and  died  a  bachelor,  another, 
an  unmarried  man,  died  nine  months  after  his  father's  decease, 
and  one  was  buried  an  infant.  His  daughters  all  married  into 


prominent  families — time-honored  to  this  day.  Not  a  child  dis- 
appears from  view,  and  as  has  already  been  stated,  all  filled  posi- 
tions of  more  than  ordinary  and  prominent  usefulness  to  the 
world  about  them. 

There  are  found  in  the  long  line  of  numerous  descendants,  as 
there  are  in  all  families,  some  degenerate  offspring  ;  "but  still 
the  fact  remains,"  as  someone  has  remarked,  "that  even  degen- 
erate descendants  are  not  the  worse  for  having  had  illustrious 
sires."  In  no  case,  all  through  the  long  period  of  two  hundred 
and  forty  years,  is  there  a  renegade,  or  those  criminated,  to  be 

The  strong,  active,  and  vigorous  life  we  have  been  tracing,  full 
of  manly  independence  and  earnestness  of  purpose,  which  was 
"a  life  well  worth  living,"  is  an  inspiration  to  those  young  men 
among  his  descendants,  who,  like  Captain  John  Higley,  have  no 
other  capital  with  which  to  begin  their  future  than  a  good  stock 
of  common  sense.  His  name,  as  the  founder  of  the  family  in 
America  which  bears  it,  will  be  held  in  honor  and  sacred  posses- 
sion in  their  many  gathered  households  to  their  latest  day. 

1  If  some  of  our  readers  shall  say  there  should  be  an  exception  made  in  the  case  pf  John  Brown, 
of  Harper's  Ferry  fame,  we  may  call  attention  to  the  fact  that  public  sentiment  has  so  changed 
during  the  period  of  time  elapsed  since  his  wild  struggle  to  liberate  the  slaves,  that  a  large  pro- 
portion of  the  people  now  believe  him  to  have  been  a  hero  of  human  freedom,  led  on  by  a  fanaticism 
not  born  of  wisdom. — ED. 





By  ascending  to  an  association  with  our  ancestors  ;  by  contemplating  their  example  and  study- 
ing their  character  ;  by  partaking  of  their  sentiments  and  imbibing  their  spirit  ;  by  accompanying 
them  in  their  toils  ;  by  sympathizing  in  their  sufferings  and  rejoicing  in  their  successes,  we 
seem  to  belong  to  their  age,  and  to  mingle  our  existence  with  theirs. — DANIEL  WEBSTER,  ON 

JOHN  HIGLEY,  JR.,  was  the  first  child  born  of  Captain  John 
Higley's  marriage  with  Hannah  Drake. 

His  birthplace  was  at  Windsor,  Conn.,  March  16,  1673.  He 
was  eleven  years  of  age  at  the  time  of  the  removal  of  his 
parents  to  Simsbury.  When  but  a  boy  of  twelve  years,  his  father 
secured  for  him  a  special  grant  of  land  containing  twenty  acres, 
"lying  upon  ye  west  side  of  ye  mountains  on  ye  little  brook 
that  runs  under  ye  mountains  into  ye  falls,"  given  by  the 
town  meeting  held  December  31,  1685,  in  his  own  name — 
John  Higley,  Jr.  This  was  the  cheerful  beginning  of  his  be- 
coming in  after  time  a  large  landed  proprietor.  Other  grants 
of  land  to  him  are  recorded  as  early  as  1698  and  1699. 

He  was  qualified  according  to  law  and  took  the  freeman's  oath, 
April  30,  1717.  Of  his  earlier  years  little  is  known,  and  how  he 
received  his  education  cannot  be  stated.  He  appears  to  have  had 
some  insight  into  Latin.  Latin  was  a  chief  study  in  the  schools 
of  his  day.  In  the  year  1717  we  find  him  the  schoolmaster  of  the 

"  June  the  tenth  1717;  then  Received  of  the  Select  Men  of  Simsbury  two  pounds 
in  bills  of  Credit  pro  nos   John  Higley  for  Keeping  of  School." 

To  a  great  extent,  after  reaching  maturer  years,  he  followed 
in  the  footsteps  of  his  father,  though  his  life  does  not  betray  an 
energy  of  character  equal  to  that  which  was  so  prominent  a  char- 
7  85 


acteristic  of  Captain  John  Higley.  The  records  show  that  he 
was  a  citizen  of  distinction.1  He  held  posts  of  honor;  and  family 
papers  convey  the  statement  that  his  reputation  for  integrity  in 
his  intercourse  with  his  fellow-men  was  good. 

His  appointment  as  one  of  the  selectmen  of  the  town,  and  his 
association  with  different  public  enterprises,  his  holding  various 
local  offices,  with  nominations  and  elections  as  Representative 
to  the  Connecticut  General  Assembly  from  1728  to  1730,  repeat 
the  verdict  of  approval  of  his  public  services. 

By  his  father's  will,  John,  with  his  brother  Samuel,  was  intrusted 
with  the  settlement  of  Captain  Higley's  estate,  which  claimed  his 
attention  for  a  period  covering  more  than  eight  years. 

In  the  contest  with  the  inhabitants  of  the  town  concerning  the 
valuable  Copper-Hill  lands  and  mines,  he  took  decided  grounds 
sustaining  his  father.  Besides  receiving,  by  special  bequest, 
"a  double  portion  out  of  the  whole  estate "  of  Captain  Higley,  in 
conjunction  with  his  brother  Brewster  he  finally,  in  1725,  secured 
the  original  family  homestead.  He  also  received  by  inheritance 
one-fifth  share  in  lands  at  Windsor,  which  came  by  legacy  from 
his  mother;  and  deeds  are  extant  showing  that  he  secured  by 
purchase  from  his  brothers  and  sisters  several  of  the  shares 
belonging  to  their  father's  estate.  At  a  town  meeting  held 
January  2,  1723,  when  a  general  distribution  of  the  common  lands 
was  made,  John  and  Brewster  are  named  together  as  having 
shares  apportioned  to  them,  and  at  the  death  of  their  brother 
Joseph,  who  died  unmarried,  they  became  possessed  by  legacy  of 
his  property.  In  1716  he  was  appointed  "sole  executor"  to  the 
estate  of  his  brother  Jonathan,  and  is  named  in  Jonathan's  will  as 
a  legatee;  also  receiving  lands  through  this  channel. 

John  Higley,  Jr.,  never  married.  Between  his  brother  Brewster 
and  himself  there  existed  the  closest  brotherly  relation.  Their 
landed  interests  were  largely  in  partnership,  and  until  his  decease 
they  occupied  the  old  homestead  together  after  their  stepmother, 
Mrs.  Sarah  Higley,  had  returned  with  the  younger  children  to 
Windsor.  To  his  brother  Brewster  Higley  he  bequeathed  his 
entire  property,  both  real  and  personal,  and  "constituted  him  his 
sole  and  lawful  executor."  There  is  no  record  bearing  evidence 
that  he  ever  was  a  member  of  the  Simsbury  Church. 

His  health  was  in  a  failing  condition  for  some  time  previous  to 

1  The  prefix  "  Mr."  is  generally  found  placed  before  his  name.  "  Mr."  was  an  aristocratic  class 
title  in  those  days. 


his  decease,  but  of  what  disease  he  died  no  facts  are  given.  His 
will  is  brief,  and  was  executed  October  24,  1741,  but  six  weeks 
before  his  death.  It  begins  with  the  usual  form  of  expression  in 
those  times,  declaring  that  he  was  "of  sound  mind — Blessed  be 
God  therefor,"  etc.  He  died  December  i,  1741,  aged  sixty- 
eight  years,  and  was  interred  in  the  ancient  cemetery  in  the 
village  of  Simsbury. 



A  life  spent  worthily  should  be  measured  by  a  nobler  line— by  deeds,  not  years.— RICHARD 

IT  appears  from  the  records  that  Jonathan,  the  second  son  of 
Captain  John  and  Hannah  Drake 'Higley,  lived  and  died  in  Sims- 
bury.  There  is  less  in  his  life  of  a  conspicuous  nature  to  record 
than  of  his  brothers  who  lived  to  the  same  age,  his  walk  having 
been  in  quieter  and  more  unobtrusive  channels. 

He  was  born  at  Windsor,  February  16,  1675,  and  died  in  May, 
1716,  at  the  age  of  forty-one  years,  less  than  two  years  after  his 
father's  decease.  Of  his  earlier  childhood  there  are  found  no 
memoranda.  Captain  Higley  had  imbedded  an  ambition  in  this 
boy  before  he  was  thirteen,  as  he  did  in  all  of  his  older  sons,  for 
the  possession  of  lands,  by  securing  for  him  by  grant  of  the  town 
in  his  own  name  two  lots  of  land,  the  whole  containing  twenty- 
five  acres,  situated  on  the  east  side  of  the  river.  He  was  honored 
by  the  town  meeting  with  sundry  local  appointments  in  the  town 
and  neighborhood  while  yet  a  young  man,  and  served  in  matters 
concerning  the  Church. 

The  following  documents  are  upon  record,  to  which  his 
name,  with  that  of  his  brother  John,  Jr.,  and  other  citizens,  is 
appended,  showing  an  agreement  entered  into  by  the  town  upon 
a  call  to  Rev.  Dudley  Woodbridge  as  minister,  and  the  method  by 
which  his  salary  should  be  paid.  Jonathan  was  now  twenty-two 
years  old. 

"Whereas  here  propounded  at  a  Town  Meeting  held  June  2gth  1697  that  the 
Inhabitants  of  Simsbury  to  se  what  ye  gud  simsbury  people  would  give  in  labour  to 
Mr.  D.  Woodbridge  Annually  for  the  space  of  four  years :  it  was  agreed  by  subscrib- 
ing to  give  him  three  days  work  in  a  year,  and  all  heads  of  families  ym-selves  and 
all  under  their  command,  children  or  servants,  also  those  young  men  that  are  free 
hand  engaged  :  three  days  work  once  a  year  a  piece  for  four  years,  the  persons  en- 
gaged are  Male  persons  fit  for  labour  from  sixteen  years  and  upward,  to  help  to  bring 
his  land  in  tillage  in  case  Mr.  Woodbridge  settles  in  office  amongst  us  in  Simsbury." 



Three  years  later  the  following  receipt  is  recorded  : 

"  Rec*1-  of  Jonathan  Higley  of  Simsbury  the  full  proportion  of  Three  days  labor 
that  he  engaged  to  me,  which  was  three  days  work  a  year  for  four  years,  as  is 
intimated  in  Simsbury  records.  I  say  received  by  me. 

"DUDLEY  WOODBRIDGE,  Jan.  i4th,  1700." ' 

On  the  4th  of  December,  1701,  Jonathan  Higley  married  Ann 
Barber,  the  daughter  of  Lieutenant  Thomas  Barber.  Lieutenant 
Barber  was  at  that  time  in  command  under  Captain  John  Higley  of 
the  Simsbury  militia.  The  family  of  Barbers  were,  if  not  the  lead- 
ers, among  the  most  prominent  citizens,  and  founders  of  the  town. 

Jonathan  and  Ann  settled  upon  their  home  farm  at  the  "N.  E. 
Corner,"  afterwards  called  Turkey  Hills.  An  unusual  fatality 
appears  to  have  overtaken  their  children.  The  successive  births 
and  deaths  of  four  infants  occurred.  Except  one,  a  daughter, 
none  lived  beyond  babyhood.  This  daughter,  who  was  named 
Mercy — a  family  name  among  the  Barbers — was  born  November 
12,  1712,  and  baptized  on  the  i3th  of  the  following  June.  At  the 
age  of  twenty  the  town  meeting  ordered  lands  "laid  out"  to  her. 
She  afterward  married  John  Coult  and  resided  at  Harwinton, 
Conn.,  and  became  the  mother  of  a  family  ;  her  eldest  son,  born 
October  13,  1735,  bearing  his  grandfather's  name — Jonathan 
Higley  Coult. 

Jonathan  Higley's  name  frequently  appears  upon  the  Land 
Records,  in  the  purchase  and  sale  of  lands,  and  in  this  connection 
it  may  be  remarked  that  repeated  transactions  in  business,  as  well 
as  social  relations  between  his  brothers  and  himself,  indicate  a 
beautiful  harmony  and  kindly  family  feeling  existing  between 
them,  which  commands  hearty  admiration.  In  the  sharp  diver- 
gence and  bitter  contest  between  the  proprietors  of  the  town 
and  the  townspeople  over  the  Copper-Hill  lands,  he  represented 
the  family  in  the  people's  meetings.  As  has  been  previously  stated 
the  Higleys  were  careful  that  some  one  of  their  number  should 
be  present  at  all  public  discussions  where  measures  concerning 
these  lands  were  likely  to  be  taken. 

He  died  in  May,  1716.  Jonathan  Higley's  will  was  dated  April 
9,  1716,  one  month  before  his  death.  The  main  bequests  were  to 
his  "beloved  wife  Ann,"  and  to  his  "only  daughter  Mercy." 
He  gave  legacies  in  land  to  his  "  six  brothers,"  and  divides  his 
Windsor  property  between  his  "three  eMest  brothers,  John, 

1  Book  ii.  "  Simsbury  Records." 


Brewster,  and  Samuel,"  and  remembered  in  his  bequests  David, 
the  second  son  of  Brewster,  who  was  then  but  a  lad.  He  named 
his  brother  John  Higley,  Jr.,  as  his  "Sole  Executor."  The  will 
was  presented  in  court  the  following  July.  But  a  partial  inven- 
tory appears  to  have  been  taken,  the  greater  portion  of  the  per- 
sonal effects  having  been  left  in  the  hands  of  his  wife,  without 
being  appraised.  She  being  a  person  possessed  of  considerable 
property,  their  united  estates  represented  an  unusual  amount 
of  wealth  for  those  times. 

Ann  Higley  survived  her  husband  but  six  years,  and  died  No- 
vember 15,  1722,  leaving  their  only  child  an  orphan  ten  years  of 
age.  The  child  became  heir  to  all  of  the  property  that  belonged 
to  both  of  her  parents.  An  additional  and  very  long  inventory 
was  taken  within  a  week  following  her  mother's  decease,  which 
includes  quantities  of  land  and  farms,  with  every  sort  of  belong- 
ing contained  in  a  Colonial  home  of  the  well-to-do  class.  In  this 
list  are  found  the  articles  of  clothing  which  had  belonged  to  both 
Jonathan  and  his  wife.  Among  the  garments  named,  showing 
that  they  were  among  the  better  dressed  people  of  that  day,  are 
the  following  from  Ann  Higley's  wardrobe: 

"  Silk  hoods,  gloves,  Ribbons,  Damask  petticoats,  a  black  damask  petticoat, 
black  crape  coat  and  mantle,  linen  '  changes,'  linen  night  west-coat,  silk  and  lace 
handkerchiefs,  woolen  gloves,  a  green  gown,  one  silk  damask  mantle,  a  Riding 
gown  and  Riding  hood,  etc." 

All  such  materials  and  garments  were  brought  across  the 
Atlantic  Ocean.  The  last  mentioned  was  probably  a  "French 
hood,"  which  were  much  in  vogue  and  were  worn  in  all  colors. 
Such  an  one  provoked  the  following  advertisement  from  a  parish 
vestry  about  this  period  : 

"  All  ladies  who  come  to  church  in  the  new  fas  honed  hoods  are  desired  to  be  theft 
before  divine  service  begins,  lest  they  divert  the  attention  of  the  congregation"  1 

In  addition,  the  inventory  contains,  "a  white  worked  blanket, 
tablecloths  and  napkins,  laced  pillow  cases,  sheets,  a  pair  of  fine 
sheets,"  etc.,  etc. 

It  is  not  known  where  Jonathan  and  Ann  Barber  Higley  were 
interred.  Time  has  obliterated  every  record.  The  only  child 
they  left  was  barely  old  enough  to  remember  her  parents. 

The  brief  obituary  of  Joseph,  ruler  of  Egypt,  is  fitting  to  these  : 
"  And  he  died,  and  all  his  brethren,  and  all  that  generation." 

"  Ye  fashon  of  this  wurld passeth  awaie  /" 
1  "  Book  of  Costumes,"  p.  145. 



"  All  that  tread 

The  globe  are  hut  a  handful  to  the  tribes 
That  slumber  in  its  bosom." 

ON  March  13,  1677,  there  was  born  in  Windsor,  Conn.,  to  Cap- 
tain John  and  Hannah  Drake  Higley  their  first  daughter,  who  was 
baptized  Elizabeth. 

There  is  no  record  of  her  early  years.  It  is  to  be  regretted  that 
woman's  estate  was  inconspicuous  and  limited  in  those  bygone 
times,  and  it  was  not  the  custom  to  chronicle  much  concerning 
her  daily  round  of  existence. 

It  appears  that  Elizabeth  Higley  remained  at  home  with  her 
father  until  she  was  about  thirty-three  years  of  age;  probably 
having  general  supervision  of  the  household  after  her  mother's 
decease,  or  until  her  father's  second  marriage.  She  married 
Nathaniel  Bancroft  of  Westfield,  Mass.,  between  the  years  1706 
and  1710,  the  exact  date  not  being  known. 

Her  husband,  Nathaniel  Bancroft,  was  born  in  Windsor, 
Conn.,  September  25,  1680.  While  he  was  yet  a  young  man  his 
parents  removed  to  Westfield,  where  he  married  in  1705,  but  lost 
his  wife  by  death  in  less  than  one  month.  Elizabeth  Higley 
became  his  second  wife.  He  was,  by  profession,  a  surveyor. 
The  Bancrofts  of  Westfield  held  large  possessions,  and  the 
descendants  of  some  members  of  the  family  became  historically 
quite  famous. 

From  the  date  of  the  birth  of  Elizabeth  Higley,  which  took 
place  amid  perilous  times,  when  the  yells  of  the  Indian's  wild 
war-whoop  had  scarce  died  from  the  surrounding  forests,  and  the 
village  of  Simsbury  was  yet  lying  in  ashes  and  deserted,  her  life 
seemed  destined  to  be  spent  amid  fightings  and  torturing  appre- 
hensions of  danger  from  the  hostile  savages. 

During  her  young  womanhood,  and  through  the  period  of  the 
French  and  Indian  war,  it  was  never  known  what  day  or  night  the 

1  Many  valuable  facts  for  this  sketch  were  kindly  furnished  by  J.  M.  Bancroft,  Esq.,  historian  of 
the  Bancroft  family. — ED. 



enemy  might  burst  like  a  cyclone  on  the  settlement.  It  was 
needful  ever  to  be  on  the  alert.  These  grave  and  alarming 
threatenings  were  often  the  cause  of  her  father,  Captain  Higley, 
holding  himself  and  his  soldiers  in  readiness  for  active  service  "  at 
an  hour's  warning."  The  men  of  the  settlement  went  constantly 
armed  and  the  families  were  often  forced  "to  haste  to  th'  Garri- 
son house  for  saftie."  A  church  which  was  erected  in  an  adjacent 
settlement,  about  the  time  of  her  marriage,  "was  provided  with 
'  gaurd  seats,'  as  they  were  called,  when  some  ten  or  twenty  men 
could  be  on  the  lookout  near  the  doors  against  a  sudden 
assault."  ' 

"  '  We  could  scarce  abide  in  oure  house,'  said  some  aged  dames 
one  day,  according  to  a  story  of  '  ye  olden  time,'  who  were  over- 
heard talking  over  those  days  of  strange  and  woeful  experiences 
when  '  th'  dreadful  folk '  were  on  the  war-path. 

"  'We  could  scare  abide  in  oure  house,'  said  they,  'so  fear- 
some were  we  of  redskins.  For  alle  th'  wurld  doth  know  y*  in 
those  years  th'  red  men  harried  alle  New  England.  We  grew  soe 
passionatelie  afeared,  y*  if  a  hen  did  but  cackle  on  a  stone  steppe 
th'  cloud  would  grow  upon  our  faces  and  wee,  ready  cloathed  for 
flight,  would  glance  fearfullie  about  and  goe  t'  th'  casement,  alle 
peering  out  together  upon  y6  deepe  woods. 

"  '  Upo'  a  Lord's  day  morn,  do  ye  mind,  how  as  ye  men  sat 
combing  their  locks,  with  we  maids  going  up  and  down  the  still 
room  brushing  th'  rushes  up  o'  th'  floor  into  the  pattern  o'  stars, 
there  would  come  a  thwack  athwart  the  house,  and  th'  cry,  '  The 
Redskins  !  I'  the  East  Part  ! '  wi'  y6  far  clattering  o'  hoofs  down 
oure  lane. 

"  'Then  was  th'  brand  covered  hastilie  wi'  ashes,  and  we  alle 
did  rush  into  th'  long  path  atween  high  nodding  weeds  to  th' 
Garrison  House  to  th'  west.  What  a  long,  trembling  day  it  was; 
gossip,  eating  off  another's  dishes,  wi'  naught  natural  but  the 
spring  sun  westerning  slowly  ups  th'  strange  slopes  ! 

"  'But  oh  !  th'  saftie  o'  th'  night,  when  wee  women  alle  slept  i' 
th'  loft  together  for  companie,  cuddling  th'  children  atween  us, 
wi'  th'  certaintie  that  every  man  o'  Simsbury  sat  below  wi'  his 
Queen's  arms  upo'  his  knee  ! 

'"And  here  be  I,  goode  wife,  who  was  ever  listening  so  painfully 
for  th'  singing  arrows  that  folk  smiled.  Yet,  would  I  exchange 
this  fire  dropping  apart  soe  peacefully  upo'  this  hearth  for  one  o' 

1  "  History  of  Hartford  County  "  by  J.  Hammond  Trumbull. 



th'  days  ?  They  do  hold  my  round  cheek  and  the  dark  color 
o"  my  hairs  with  them.  Alack  !  Thou  and  I  do  belong  to 
yesterday  !  ' ' 

Nor  did  Elizabeth  Higley  escape  these  troubles  after  her  mar- 
riage and  removal  to  Westfield.  Her  husband's  brother,  Edward 
Bancroft,  died  on  the  $th  of  September,  1707,  from  the  effect  of 
mortal  wounds  received  from  the  Indians.  Early  in  the  year  1724 
the  family  were  again  brought  into  distress  by  these  fierce,  relent- 
less foes,  who  fatally  wounded  her  father-in-law,  Nathaniel  Ban- 
croft, Sr.,  which  resulted  in  his  death  on  the  2oth  of  February. 

Elizabeth,  in  common  with  the  other  heirs,  received  her  portion 
in  lands,  etc.,  at  the  distribution  of  her  father's  estate. 

The  following  account,  which  it  is  evident  was  made  out  by 
her  brother,  Dr.  Samuel  Higley,  is  found  among  the  executor's 
papers,  and  is  receipted  in  a  clear  hand  by  her  husband  : 


•  by  keeping  me  when  sik  by  agreement. 
December  the  26  1716. 
paid  to  Nathaniel  Bancroft  in  money. . 
A  mar  and  colt. 

September  14,  1715,  by  money  you  had. 

payd.  for  you  to  Joseph  Adams 

detor  by  a  claim  of  Brewster 

by  tobacco  you  had 

"Jan.  24,  1719. 

"  This  above  account  I  have  upon  the  account  of  my  wife  Elizabeth's  portion  .  .  .  this  is  to  be 
understood  part  of  her  portion.  [Signed]  "  NATHANIEL  BANCROFT." 

Both  Nathaniel  and  Elizabeth  Bancroft  were  members  of  the 
Westfield  church,  though  Mrs.  Bancroft  did  not  unite  in  its  mem- 
bership till  1738,  about  the  time  that  a  very  remarkable  revival 
of  religion  took  place  there,  when  she  had  passed  her  sixtieth 
year.  Her  husband  had  ''owned  ye  covenant"  many  years 
previous — as  early  at  1712. 

Of  their  family  of  nine  children  but  two  lived  to  maturity.  We 
find  the  mother  often  plunged  into  the  "boundless  sea"  of 
sorrow  ever  the  graves  of  her  family.  The  two  first  of  whose 
births  record  is  made,  died  in  infancy — one  born  October  7,  1711, 
and  another,  December  26,  1712.  Their  next,  a  daughter  named 

1  This  living  picture,  so  graphically  given,  of  twenty-four  hours  of  the  terror  in  which  many  of 
our  ancestors  of  New  England  were  accustomed  in  those  times  to  live,  is  kindly  contributed  by 
Adeline  A.  Knight  of  Exeter,  N.  H. 


Desire,  was  born  November  14,  1713.  Their  fourth  child, 
Susannah,  was  born  January  30,  1716,  and  was  the  only  child  who 
lived  to  be  married.  She  was  united  in  marriage  to  Benjamin 
Ashley,  May  17,  1739." 

Their  only  son,  Nathaniel,  was  born  July  23,  1720,  and  lived 
but  fifteen  months.  He  died  October  23,  1721.  Mercy  and 
Experience,  twins,  were  born  May  17,  1723.  Experience 
died  on  the  i7th  of  the  June  following  her  birth.  A  daughter 
named  Terza  came  next,  and  a  daughter  named  Elizabeth  was 
born  March  17,  1729,  of  whom  there  is  no  further  account,  and 
who  probably  died  in  infancy. 

The  year  1736  closed  to  Elizabeth  Higley  in  grief.  Three 
more  graves  in  the  parish  burial-ground  told  the  story  of  their 
family  sorrows.  Mercy,  one  of  her  twins,  who  had  now  lived  to 
be  a  girl  of  thirteen,  died  on  the  zyth  of  November.  The  next 
daughter,  Terza,  died  on  the  2d  of  December,  five  days  after 
her  sister.  Their  mournful  footsteps  had  scarcely  turned  from 
the  graves  where  they  laid  these,  than  they  were  called  to  stand 
upon  the  same  spot  and  place  beside  them  Desire,  a  young 
woman  of  twenty-three,  who  died  on  the  7th  of  the  same  month. 

These  loving  daughters  were  laid  in  the  green  resting  place  for 
the  dead  within  ten  days. 

"  Insatiate  archer  !  could  not  one  suffice  ? 

Thy  shaft  flew  thrice  ;   and  thrice  my  peace  was  slain." 

Elizabeth  Higley's  cup  of  bitterness  was  not  yet  drained;  it 
remained  for  her  to  follow,  in  four  brief  years  after,  one  more  to 
the  grave,  the  last  child  of  their  affection  left  to  them — Susannah, 
who  died  in  childbirth  on  the  first  anniversary  of  her  marriage 
day,  May  17,  1740.  She  left  a  young  infant,  who  survived  its 
mother  but  a  few  days. 

Scarce  six  weeks  had  elapsed  after  the  decease  of  Susannah  and 
her  child,  when  on  the  i3th  of  June  (1740),  her  husband 
Nathaniel  Bancroft  died,  leaving  Elizabeth  Higley  a  bereft  and 
childless  widow.  His  age  was  sixty. 

Her  journey  after  them  was  not  long — only  three  years  and 
six  months.  She  died  December  7,  1743,  aged  sixty-six  years. 

"  They  all  passed 
To  where  beyond  these  voices  there  is  peace," 

Nathaniel  Bancroft  named  his  wife  Elizabeth  in  his  will  as 
executrix  of  his  property,  and  among  other  bequests  left  a 


legacy  "to  Joseph  Higley  of  Simsbury,  Conn.,  the  son  of 
Brewster  Higley,  Sen.,  my  wife's  brother." 

The  will  of  Elizabeth,  which  is  still  extant,  was  admitted  in 
Court  January  7,  1744.  She  appointed  her  brother,  Brewster 
Higley,  Sr.,  the  administrator  of  her  estate,  and  he  appointed 
his  son  Brewster  the  attorney. 

The  members  of  the  family  were  all  interred  in  the  ancient 
burial  ground  at  Westfield,  Mass. 



Life  is  but  a  repetition — 

For  the  man  who  lives  to-day 
Loves  and  hopes,  like  countless  millions 

Who  have  lived  and  passed  away. 

— A.  G.  CHESTER. 

KATHERINE,  the  second  daughter  of  Captain  John  and  Hannah 
Drake  Higley  began  her  life  in  the  old  town  of  Windsor,  August  7, 
1679.  She  appears  to  have  been  a  very  clever  girl,  and  was  fif- 
teen at  the  time  of  her  mother's  death. 

At  twenty-five  she  married  James  Noble  of  Westfield,  Mass.,  a 
young  widower  two  years  her  senior,  who  had  two  children.  He 
was  born  October  i,  1677. 

The  Noble  family  was  one  of  great  antiquity  in  Great  Britain, 
and  is  old  and  time-honored  in  this  country.  James  was  one  of 
the  younger  of  the  eleven  children  of  Thomas  Noble,  the  first 
ancestor  bearing  the  name  who  came  to  America.  He  settled  at 

James  Noble  and  Katherine  Higley  were  married  February 
24,  1704.  Katherine's  married  life  covered  but  a  few  brief 
years,  her  husband  dying  in  the  vigor  of  manhood — only  thirty- 
four — leaving  her  with  three  children.  His  decease  took  place 
January  18,  1712.  "  Lietts  "  of  administration  on  his  estate 
were  granted  to  "  Katheron,  Widw  &  Relict,  and  Thomas  Noble, 
on  ye  28th  Day  of  March.  Anno  Dom  1712." 

The  inventory  of  his  estate  shows  that  they  were  among  the 
well-to-do  yeomanry,  and  the  prefix  "Mr.,"  placed  before  his 
name  upon  all  the  records,  indicates  them  to  have  been  ranked 
socially  among  the  "upper  class." 

It  was  but  a  few  years  later  on  when  Katherine,  to  her  rights 
in  property  which  she  received  from  her  husband,  had  added  from 
her  father's  estate  legacies  which  made  her  the  possessor  of  a 
considerable  property,  for  those  times. 

1  In  this  sketch  much  valuable  information  was  obtained  and  extracts  taken  from  the  "  Noble 
Genealogies,"  by  L.  M.  Boltwood. 



The  inventory  of  James  Noble's  estate  contained  "a  house  and 
homestead  in  the  town ; "  "a  house  and  homestead  at  the  farm ;  " 
"  one  Acre  of  land  lying  in  the  homelot  that  was  John  Noble's; " 
"16  acres  of  land  behind  Thomas  Noble's  barn;"  "the  brush 
pasture;"  and  several  other  small  lots  of  land,  in  addition  to 
which  was  an  ample  quantity  of  "live  stock,  grains  [Rye,  Peas, 
and  Indian  corn],  farm  and  house  utensils,  and  furniture,"  etc.,  etc. 

Katherine  received  "all  of  the  moveable  goods  to  beat  her 
own  absolute  dispose  for  Ever,"  and  "one  3rd  part  of  the  Real 
Estate  to  be  for  her  Use  and  Improvement  for  the  term  of  her 
life  only." 

In  addition  to  the  bequests  in  lands  and  money  from  Captain 
Higley  to  which  she  was  heir,  she  was,  through  the  executors  of 
his  estate,  the  recipient  of  specialties  which  are  noted  in  their 
settlement  with  her,  viz.  : 

"  A  yock  of  cattoll,  a  mare,  'a  copor  cup' and  a  'copor  kittoll,' 
a  '  mortor  and  pesoll,'  and  a  sermon  boock. " 

Some  years  after  her  husband's  death  Katherine  is  found  teach- 
ing the  village  school.  She  is  said  to  have  been  the  first  woman 
school  teacher  in  Westfield.  On  the  3d  of  May,  1725,  the  town 
meeting  voted  : 

"To  give  the  Widow  Katherine  Noble  twenty-five  shillings  a 
month  for  keeping  school  so  long  as  the  Town  sees  cause  to 
improve  her  in  that  service,  and  she  sees  cause  to  attend  it." 

Her  children  were  as  follows  : 

Lydia,  born  December  7,  1704,  who  married,  April  30,  1734, 
Stephen  Kelsey  of  Killingworth,  Conn.  James,  born  January  12, 
1707,  who  died  in  Westfield,  unmarried,  January  4,  1739.  He  was 
a  farmer  and  "dish-turner."  David,  born  March  3,  1709,  who 
married  Abigail  Loomis,  daughter  of  Philip  and  Hannah  Loomis 
of  Simsbury. '  (See  chapter  xxix.) 

In  1732  Katherine  Higley  Noble  removed  with  her  son  David 
and  his  family  to  Hebron,  Conn.,  where  "they  settled  in  that 
part  now  called  Gilead.  The  homestead  was  about  three  and 
a  half  miles  northwest  of  the  Hebron  church,  and  one  mile  west 
of  the  Gilead  meeting-house,  on  the  highway  leading  to  Marl- 
borough."  '  Here  Katherine  united  with  the  church,  no  doubt 
under  the  preaching  of  Whitefield,  after  she  had  reached  her 
sixty-first  birthday.  The  Rev.  Benjamin  Pomeroy  was  pastor  of 

1  "Noble  Genealogies,"  by  L.  M.  Bolt  wood. 


the  church  at  that  time.  He  is  said  to  have  been  "an  ardent, 
zealous,  and  thundering  preacher  of  the  Newlight  order."  He 
was  a  great  admirer  and  supporter  of  Whitefield,  and  Whitefield, 
"who  counted  the  world  his  parish,"  came  about  this  time  to 
Hebron  while  he  was  on  an  evangelistic  tour  through  Connecticut, 
setting  the  towns  ablaze  with  his  fiery  sermons.  However,  he 
seems  to  have  found  it  hard  to  kindle  the  place  into  flame. 
"Hebron,"  he  writes,  "is  the  stronghold  of  Satan,  for  its  people 
mightily  oppose  the  work  of  the  Lord,  being  more  fond  of  earth 
than  heaven." 

It  was  but  shortly  after,  in  the  early  spring,  that  Katherine 
Noble  closed  the  peaceful  evening  of  her  days.  Her  moss- 
covered  tombstone,  which  has  now  stood  for  one  hundred  and 
fifty  years  in  the  ancient  place  for  burial  at  Hebron,  bears  this 
inscription  : 

1Tn  memory  of 

flfcrs.  ikatbarn  TRoble 

of  THaestfielo,  mbo 

2>feo  /Ifcarcb  7  1740/1 

in  ye  62o  Uear  of 

ber  age. 

1T  Gbess.  4:  14.  "Gbem 

also  TKHbfcb  Sleep 

in  Sesus  will  <3oo 

bring  witb  bim." 

Katherine  Noble's  descendants  continued,  chapter  xxix. 



Inquire,  I  pray  thee,  of  the  former  age,  and  prepare  thyself  to  the  search  of  their  fathers. — 
JOB  viii.  8. 

A  LITTLE  more  than  thirty  years  ago  the  Hon.  Jeffery  O.  Phelps 
of  Simsbury,  Conn.,  brother  to  Noah  Phelps  the  historian,  writing 
to  Judge  Erastus  Higley  of  Vermont,  made  the  following  remark  : 

"It appears  by  our  Town  Records  for  many  years  that  Brewster 
Higley  was  a  very  prominent  man  in  the  Town.  I  will  send  you 
what  information  I  possess  regarding  this  large,  ancient,  and 
respectable  family." 

The  above  testimony,  given  by  one  well  qualified  to  speak,  being 
himself  a  descendant  from  some  of  the  earliest  inhabitants  of 
Hartford  County  and  the  ancient  town,  and  having  heard  the 
older  people  talk  who  lived  contemporary  with  the  Higleys,  is  fully 
sustained  by  recent  research. 

Brewster  Higley,  the  third  son  of  Captain  John  and  Hannah 
Drake  Higley,  was  born  in  1680'  in  Windsor,  Conn.,  while  his 
parents  occupied  a  dwelling  in  the  main  settlement  of  that  town 
upon  the  west  side  of  the  Connecticut  river. 

He  was  their  fifth  child.  As  has  been  already  stated,  he  was 
given  the  family  name  of  his  English  grandmother — Brewster, 
and  proved  the  founder  of  a  successive  line  of  Brewster  Higleys, 
extending  through  seven  generations  to  the  present  day.  When 
Brewster  was  about  four  years  old  his  parents  removed  to  Sims- 
bury,  which  was  his  home  the  remainder  of  his  life. 

That  he  received  a  fair  rudimentary  education  in  the  school  at 
Simsbury  is  reasonable  to  believe,  as  Captain  John  Higley  gave 
his  children  the  best  available  opportunities  for  learning  that  the 
times  afforded.  That  he  was  trained  in  the  school  of  practical 

1  The  date  and  month  in  the  year  have  not  been  preserved.  Brewster  Higley,  4th,  who  was  born 
before  the  death  of  Brewster  Higley,  Sr.,  and  lived  contemporary  with  many  of  that  generation, 
used  to  say,  the  correctness  of  which  cannot  be  doubted,  that  each  Brewster  who  headed  the  line, 
in  the  successive  generations  was  born  in  March. 


effort  was  demonstrated  by  his  vigorous  life  and  the  versatility 
of  his  occupations  in  after  years. 

Two  points  in  their  history  were  early  drilled  by  precept  and 
example  into  the  sons  of  Captain  Higley — the  accumulation  of 
lands  and  military  aspiration.  When  Brewster  was  but  seven- 
teen his  father  obtained  for  him  a  grant  from  the  town  of  thirty 
acres  of  land,  which  the  youth  must  have  held  with  some  degree 
of  allowable  pride,  and  just  before  he  came  of  age  he  received 
additional  grants  through  the  same  channel. 

From  the  yet  scattered  state  of  the  inhabitants,  and  the  neces- 
sity of  as  strong  a  military  force  as  could  be  gathered  in  the 
young  colony,  it  was  still  necessary  that  every  available  male 
inhabitant  should  join  the  rank  and  file  of  the  soldiery.  Brewster, 
no  doubt,  from  the  time  he  was  sixteen,  the  age  required  to 
enter  service,  was  a  member  of  the  military  company  of  which 
his  father  was  then  lieutenant  and  afterward  the  captain. 

His  name  appears  in  appointments  by  the  town  society  as 
early  as  1707,  while  he  was  yet  a  young  man;  and  his  useful 
career  in  the  affairs  of  the  town  continued  throughout  his  long 
and  valuable  life. 

On  the  i7th  of  February,  1709,  he  married  Hester  Holcombe,1 
the  daughter  of  Deacon  Nathaniel  and  Mary  (Bliss)  Holcombe 
of  Simsbury,  an  old  family  of  excellent  standing. 

In  December  of  the  same  year  their  first  child  was  born,  and 
named  Brewster,  who  when  he  reached  manhood  was  known  as 
Brewster  Higley,  2d.  They  had  been  married  five  years  when 
their  "  honored  father  "  Captain  Higley  died.  After  this  event, 
upon  the  removal  of  Captain  Higley's  widow  to  Windsor,  in  the 
spring  of  1725,  Brewster  and  his  young  family,  with  his  eldest 
brother  John,  took  up  their  residence  in  the  old  homestead  at 
Higley-Town,  which  lost  none  of  its  former  prestige  through  its 
new  occupants.  It  was  here  the  younger  members  of  their  circle 
of  eight  children,  who  gradually  filled  the  family  home,  were  born. 
There  were  four  sons  and  four  daughters,  viz.  :  Brewster,  2d; 
David,  Joseph,  Hannah,  Hester,  John,  Elizabeth,  and  Naomi. 

Their  daughters  Hannah  and  Elizabeth  became  the  great- 
grandmothers  to  John  Brown  of  Harper's  Ferry  fame,  and  Naomi 
was  grandmother  to  Rev.  Heman  Humphrey,  late  President  of 
Amherst  College. 

1  The  entry  of  this  marriage  upon  the  "Simsbury  Records, "book  ii  ,  gives  the  name  as  "  Hester." 
In  the  latter  part  of  her  life  she  was  known  as  "  Esther." 


It  is  plainly  evident  that,  by  nature  and  habit,  Brewster  Higley, 
Sr.,  was  a  man  full  of  push  and  constant  occupation,  and  that  he 
inherited  largely  the  strength  of  character  of  his  father. 

Those  old  land-owners  mingled  the  professions  with  all  sorts 
of  employments  and  trades  in  a  way  that  seems  most  curious  to 
the  present  generation.  With  right  good  heart  and  will  they 
used  their  own  hands  to  meet  the  needs  arising  out  of  life  in  a 
newly  settled  country,  and  did  not  despise  honest  industry  of  any 
kind.  There  is  reason  to  conclude  from  the  quantity  of  cooper's 
tools  catalogued  in  the  inventory  of  his  estate  that  Brewster 
was  a  cooper  by  trade.  He  was  engaged  with  his  brother  John 
in  making  tar,  and  besides  attending  to  his  extensive  farming 
estates,  and  pursuing  his  military  duties,  he  studied  and  practiced 
medicine,  though  it  does  not  appear  that  he  ever  applied  for  a 
license.  He  possessed  a  human  skeleton, — a  rare  acquisition  for 
those  times, — and  grew  to  be  somewhat  of  an  adept  at  surgery, 
which  was  his  specialty. 

The  medical  practice  in  those  early  times  was  such  as 
progressive  medical  science  and  the  profession  of  to-day  would 
scarcely  tolerate;  but  by  dint  of  perseverance  and  close  study 
of  the  few  medical  works  of  which  he  could  lay  hold,  Brewster 
Higley  was  fairly  successful  and  enjoyed  a  considerable  neighbor- 
hood patronage.  His  excellent  natural  ability  as  a  nurse  greatly 
aided  him  in  his  practice  as  a  physician.  Judge  Erastus  Higley 
states  in  his  Journal  that  "the  aged  people  of  Simsbury  speak 
of  his  practice  with  approbation  and  respect." 

In  the  proceedings  of  the  General  Assembly  of  the  Colony, 
under  date  of  October,  1726,  the  following  Act  was  passed,  which 
gave  him  honorable  distinction  : 

"This  Assembly  do  establish  and  confirm  Mr.  Brewster  Higley 
of  Symsbury  to  be  Ensign  of  the  north  Company  or  Train  band 
in  the  town  of  Symsbury  aforesaid,  and  order  him  to  be  Com- 
missioned accordingly."1 

He  was  thus  commissioned  an  officer  and  was  afterward  known 
as  "  Ensign  Brewster  Higley  Sen." 

The  good  terms  and  strong  brotherly  affection  which  existed  be- 
tween him  and  his  eldest  brother  John  are  again  worthy  of  remark. 
Their  lives  appear  to  have  been  thoroughly  in  accord.  They 
bought,  sold,  and  received  grants  of  land  together,  held  large 

8  * ''  Colonial  Records  of  Connecticut,"  vol.  vii. 


estates  in  partnership,  and  lived  under  the  same  roof  until  John's 
decease.  We  may  well  imagine  the  afflictive  bereavement  it  was 
to  Brewster  when  his  brother's  death  took  place,  whom  he  outlived 
nineteen  years.  Brewster  received  by  legacy  all  of  his  brother's 
property.  Having  also  come  into  possession  of  his  younger 
brother  Joseph's  entire  estate,  and  having  received  bequests 
from  his  brother  Jonathan,  in  addition  to  his  own  full  share  in 
his  father's  estate,  he  was  estimated  as  a  man  of  large  wealth. 

The  inventory  of  his  personal  belongings  reveals  the  fact  that 
Brewster,  Sr.,  enjoyed  the  luxury  of  fine  clothes.  His  attire  was 
that  of  a  gentleman  of  that  period.1 

The  list  of  articles  belonging  to  his  wardrobe  evidences  that 
his  garments  were  suited  to  his  position  and  his  various  callings. 

To  his  family  he  left,  among  various  articles,  at  his  decease, 
his  handsome  belongings  as  follows: 

"A  gold  ring,  Pocket  case,  and  the  money  it  contained—  £2,25,  two  chains,  silver  buttons,  three 
silver  buckles,  gun  and  pistols,  'a  fine  hat,'  strait-bodied  coat,  a  waistcoat,  a  striped  waistcoat, 
'fine'  stockings,  'fine'  shirt,  two  linen  shirts  and  two  woollen  shirts,  and  one  pair  of  leather 

Truth  and  uprightness  were  the  guides  of  the  life  of  Brewster 
Higley,  Sr.  His  citizenship  was  a  good  one.  He  became  the 
founder  of  a  line  of  descendants  who  have  mirrored  his  good 
qualities,  and  are  substantial  citizens  in  the  different  communities 
which  they  represent  far  and  wide  in  our  land.  Upon  the  battle- 
field and  in  various  professions,  as  well  as  in  the  citizen's  ordinary 
life,  they  do  honor  to  the  ancestral  name  they  bear. 

While  his  life  stood  upon  an  elevated  platform,  it  is  not  known 
that  he  ever  became  a  member  of  the  Church,  though  his  faith  and 
unity  drew  him  into  its  Christian  fellowship.  He  was  deeply  im- 
bued with  the  spirit  of  "love  and  reverence  toward  the  Power 

1  "  Gentlemen  of  the  i8th  century  did  not  then,  as  at  present,  appear  in  black,  dark  blue,  and  brown 
coats  ;  on  the  contrary  they  seemed  to  delight  in  every  brilliant  shade,  from  the  brightest  scarlet  to 
the  most  dazzling  cerulean  blue,  rendered  still  more  splendid  by  bindings  of  gold  and  silver  lace. 
Cloth  was  the  material  most  generally  worn.  The  body  of  the  coat  fit  tightly,  but  the  skirts  were 
very  wide  and  long  and  reached  to  the  calf  of  the  leg.  The  vest,  or  waistcoat,  was  very  long  and 
had  large,  deep  pockets.  They  were  generally  made  of  materials  in  brilliant  colors,  and  usually 
covered  with  embroidery  and  buttons.  These  latter  ornaments  attained  an  enormous  size.  Short 
trousers  reaching  only  to  the  knee  were  worn  altogether,  and  with  these  were  well-fitting  long 
stockings,  usually  in  bright  colors,  which  were  drawn  up  to  the  knees,  and  garters  fastened  by 
enormous  buckles.  Silver  buckles  for  the  purpose  were  in  vogue  for  those  who  could  afford  them. 
Broad  toed  shoes  were  in  style  which  had  immense  buckles  of  silver  and  wide  strings.  Cocked 
hats  were  worn,  and  the  shirt  fronts  were  frilled.  For  the  neck,  after  the  lace  tie,  came  in  the  stock. 

"The  costumes  of  the  ordinary  people  were  generally  of  homespun  material  and  the  tailoring 
was  done  by  the  women  of  the  household." — From  "  Book  of  Costumes  and  Annals  of  Fashion 
from  the  Earliest  Periods"  also  "  Fairholfs  Costumes." 


which  created  the  universe,"  and  his  daily  living  rose  higher  than 
his  profession.  He  lived  to  a  green  old  age — eighty  years,  and 
saw  his  children's  grandchildren.  Brewster  Higley,  4th,  a  babe  of 
twenty  months,  sat  upon  his  knee.  Toward  the  close  of  his  life 
he  felt,  as  he  expressed  it,  "the  many  weaknesses  of  age,  and 
infirmities  of  the  body."  He  saw  that  his  work  was  done  and 
knew  that  he  was  nearing 

"  The  land  that  is  brighter  than  day." 

He  had  long  occupied  a  high  place  in  the  community,  and 
when  he  passed  "into  the  realm  of  the  realities,"  we  have  the 
reverent  assurance  that  he  became  all  that  the  highest  human 
aspirant  can  wish  to  become — an  inhabitant  of  heaven.  He  died 
November  5,  1760. 

Beside  his  open  grave  stood  the  "angel  of  sorrow."  His 
children  and  his  children's  children  laid  him  to  rest  in  the  ancient 
Simsbury  burying  ground  and  gave  their  testimony  that  in  his 
life  he  held  converse  with  the  Eternal.  His  had  been  a  life  of 
faithfulness  that  had  engraved  itself  upon  their  hearts,  and  they 
in  turn  chiseled  its  beautiful,  brief  story  upon  the  stone  which 
now  marks  the  spot  where  he  slept.  The  epitaph  is  as  follows: 

fjear  Xgetb  tlbe  JBo&g  of  out 
f)on&.  ffatber  JBreweter  1)f0leB,  Mbo 

fcieo  Hoveim  B«  5tb  1760 

TKHblcb  "CCle  bis  Cbiloren  XaiD  bere.  interred 

tbe  7tb  of  Sato  montb  in  tbe  SOtb 

l^ear  of  bis  &se. 

a  fttno  busbanfc,  tTenoer  ffatber,  unfatneo  friend, 
XiveD  to  olo  age  &  made  a  Cbristian  enD. 

Brewster  Higley,  Sr.,  had  settled  homesteads  upon  his  sons 
previous  to  his  decease,  in  their  own  right  and  title.  By  his 
will,1  written  October  27,  1760,  he  left  about  nine  hundred  acres 
of  land  to  be  yet  divided.  He  further  gave  a  special  bequest  of 
land  to  his  eldest  son  Brewster,  2d.  To  each  of  his  sons  he  gave 
£200  in  money,  and  to  his  daughters  he  gave  ^100  each.  He 
provided  for  his  aged  wife  as  follows: 

"  I  bequeathe  unto  my  loving  wife  Esther,  for  the  love  I  bear  unto  her,  one-third  part  of  my 
moveable  estate,  the  use  of  one-third  of  the  lands,  one-half  of  my  dwelling  and  barn  and  cellar — 
the  east  half." 

His  "loving  brother  Isaac,"  was  appointed  "Sole  Executor," 
and  the  witnesses  to  the  will  were  John  Owen,  John  Veits,  and 
Alexander  Cassett. 

1  Book  xviii.  p.  232,  "  Hartford  Probate  Records." 


The  inventory,  which  was  not  taken  until  the  next  spring, 
April  13,  1761,  contains  the  following:  Several  hundred  acres  of 
land,  a  large  quantity  of  tools,  household  goods  and  effects,  three 
Bibles  and  sundry  other  books,  two  cupping  glasses,  brass  mortar, 
hand-glass,  glass  bottles  and  vials,  money  scales,  a  quantity  of 
cooper's  tools  and  full  sets  of  carpenter's  tools — enumerated — 
implements  for  dressing  leather,  sun-dial,  beer  casks,  cider 
barrels,  button  molds,  full  set  of  pewter  table  ware,  tankard, 
cups,  etc.,  eight  chairs,  tables,  powder  horns,  full  supply  of  bed 
linen,  and  one-half  of  the  house  and  barn,  which  are  but  a  part 
of  the  articles  the  list  includes.  At  the  distribution  of  the  estate 
in  1762  the  widow  received  "moveable  property"  to  the  value  of 
^40  i2s.,  together  with  her  lands,  etc.,  and  the  sons  had  ^214 
145.  each,  with  landed  estates.  To  each  daughter  was  given 
;£ic>7  73.,  in  addition  to  their  lands. 

Mrs.  Esther  Higley  lived  fifteen  years  beyond  the  limit  which 
closed  her  husband's  life.  She  was  born  in  1683,  and  died  at  the 
advanced  age  of  ninety-two  years.  She  married  Brewster  Higley 
when  she  was  twenty -six. 

From  the  slight  glimpse  of  her  which  can  be  obtained,  it  may 
be  concluded  that  she  was,  one  of  those  grandes-dames  of  the 
earlier  period,  who  were  "the  heart  and  soul  of  their  domestic 
life,"  and  that  her  social  eminence,  mental  force,  and  refined  bear- 
ing, with  her  notable  costumes,  gave  her  a  title  of  supremacy  in 
the  community. 

.  In  the  years  1768-69  (and  probably  during  many  other  years) 
she  occupied  Pew  i  to  the  right  of  the  pulpit,  the  chief  seat  in 
the  church.  Just  behind  her,  in  the  next  pew,  sat  her  son 
Brewster,  2d,  and  his  family.  The  pews  were  assigned  by  a  com- 
mittee of  the  church  society  appointed  for  "  Ye  seating  of  ye 
meetin,"  which  produced  to  a  future  meeting  a  diagram  showing 
the  exact  location  of  each  pew,  with  the  names  of  each  proposed 
occupant.  Upon  the  presentation  of  this  report  the  seating  was 
voted  upon,  and  the  report  of  the  committee  "Ordered,  to  be 
kept  on  file  in  the  Society  Clerk's  Office."  "  These  committees," 
says  Eggleston,  "marked  with  religious  care  the  nicer  distinc- 
tions of  social  importance  in  assigning  the  seats  to  the  villagers."  ' 

Despite  her  years,  the  aged  Hester  Higley  surely  must  have 
been  a  noticeable  figure  in  the  assemblage  as  she  took  her  seat 
in  this  most  prominent  pew. 

1  Edward  Eggleston  in  "  The  Colonist  at  Home,"  The  Century,  1884-85. 


The  family  sat  underneath  the  preaching  of  the  Rev.  Gideon 
Mills, — a  son-in-law  to  Brewster  Higley,  Sr.,  by  marriage  to  his 
daughter  Elizabeth, — who  occupied  the  Simsbury  pulpit  from  1744 
to  1755.  After  that  time  the  Rev.  Benajah  Roots  officiated  as 
minister  until  1772.  There  were  constant  bickering  and  an  un- 
happy state  of  affairs  in  the  church  for  many  years  during  this 

Mrs.  Esther  Higley  died  December  17,  1775. 

Her  will,  which  is  in  the  hands  of  the  descendants  residing  in 
Middlebury,  Vt.,  devises  her  property  to  her  children — including 
some  grandchildren,  the  heirs  of  Hannah  Higley  Mills,  who  was  de- 
ceased. Her  eldest  son,  Brewster  Higley,  2d,  was  her  executor. 

A  complete  list  of  the  property  contained  in  the  inventory, 
which  consists  of  ten  long  columns,  is  too  extended  for  these 
pages.  The  following  extracts  are  taken: 

"  Two  silk  crape  gowns,  Black  cloak  with  silver,  a  homespun  cambittee  gown,  a  loose  gown,  a 
Calamanco  gown  [these  were  generally  imported  in  bright  colors],  Bonnet  and  scarf.  Fan, 
white  streaked  petticoat,  blue  and  red  ditto,  Red  streaked  ditto,  blue  cloak,  black  cloak  with 
sleeves,  white  mitts,  checked  linen  apron,  best  checked  handkerchief,  next  best  do,  shoes  and 
slippers,  a  looking-glass  [an  article  seldom  found  in  the  inventories  of  those  times],  Curtain 
rings,  pewter  dishes,  '  bassons,'  cups,  small  pewter  porringer,  another  ditto,  three  salt  'sellars,' 
spoons  and  teaspoons,  two  barrels  of  '  sider,'  two  best  barrels  ditto,  two  more  ditto,  beer  barrel," 
etc.,  etc. 

The  expenses  incurred  in  her  last  sickness  and  burial,  which 
the  reader  will  naturally  compare  with  the  elaborate  furnishings 
and  bills  from  the  undertakers  of  nowadays,  were  as  follows  : 

s.     d. 

"  To  Cash  paid  for  Coffin, 7     6 

Digging  the  grave, ...30 

For  Doctor  Topping,    .         .         .         .         .         .         .  3  10 

To  Daniel  Halliday, 30    o 

For  tending  and  washing,      .         .         .     .    .         .         .  5     o " 

The  venerable  widow  was  laid  in  the  Simsbury  cemetery  beside 
her  affectionate  husband,  to  whom  she  was  a  faithful  and  devoted 
wife  for  sixty-nine  years.  A  slab  of  gray  stone  which  stands  two 
feet  high,  and  still  marks  the  spot  as  a  memorial  of  her,  bears 
this  inscription  : 

In  flBemorg  of  dfcrs.  Estber,  tbe 

wioow  of  Ensn.  JBrewster  1>i0les> 

wbo  ofeO  fcecemb.  tbe  I7tb 

1775,  in  tbe  92nD  Bear  of 

bet  age. 

The  descendants  of  Brewster  Higley,  ist,  continued,  chapter  xxx. 



The  sire  and  mother  whom  we  hold  to-day 

In  loving  honor  watched  her  budding  youth. 
And  they  bequeathed  to  her,  we  cannot  doubt, 
Their  honest  frankness  and  their  love  of  truth. 


IT  has  been  declared  that  "the  great  rank  and  file  of  women  are 
remembered  for  their  deeds,  not  their  personalities,  and  no 
records  are  to  be  found  of  their  lives."  This  is  true  of  Hannah, 
the  third  daughter  and  sixth  child  of  Captain  John  Higley  and 
his  wife  Hannah  Drake,  to  whose  life  is  probably  attached  more 
of  interest  than  to  any  of  the  daughters  of  the  household,  since 
lustrous  characteristics  of  her  blood  and  family  are  developed  in 
her  offspring  in  consecutive  line. 

She  was  born  in  the  fair  old  town  of  Windsor,  Conn.,  rich  in 
associations  with  many  venerable  Connecticut  families  who  were 
rooted  there.  Her  birth  took  place  April  22,  1683.  On  the 
removal  of  her  parents  to  Simsbury  she  was  carried,  then  an 
infant  one  year  old,  in  the  arms  of  her  mother  to  the  beautiful 
frontier  valley  of  the  Farmington,  whose  wooded  hills  and  meadow 
lands  had  scarcely  awakened  to  civilization.  Here  her  child  and 
girlhood  days  were  spent  on  the  Woolcott  estate,  which  her  father 
had  purchased.  She  grew  up  amid  the  silence  and  solitudes  of 
tangled  forests  into  which  the  high  noon  rays  of  the  sun  scarcely 
penetrated  or  reached  the  rich  fern  beds  at  the  roots  of  the  great 
trees,  and  she  lived  through  her  earlier  years  amidst  the  frequent 
alarms  and  the  hostile  menacing  of  the  Indians. 

Her  life  was,  as  her  mother's  had  been,  one  of  unceasing  and 
unselfish  family  duties.  She  arose  with  the  sunrise,  bloomed  in 
healthy  wholesome  housework,  and  was  full  of  industrious  habits. 
Her  merry  times  were  at  homely  feasts,  spinning-wheel  parties 
and  other  country  gatherings,  and  horseback  expeditions;  for, 
says  Eggleston,  "  Joyous,  excursion-loving,  simple-minded,  were 
the  men  and  women  of  that  time,  fond  above  all  things  of  society, 
of  the  fresh  air,  and  of  excitement." 



We  have  little  knowledge  of  whether  Hannah  received  some 
educational  advantages  or  not.  However,  since  Captain  Higley 
gave  his  children  opportunities  which  were  fully  up  to  the  average, 
she  must  have  had  such  as  her  station  and  the  times  permitted; 
but  it  must  be  remembered  that  the  standard  for  the  education 
of  women  of  that  day  was  exceedingly  limited. 

We  take  Hannah  Higley  to  have  been  strong-souled  and  decisive 
in  character,  possessing  a  good  deal  of  that  excellent  quality 
called  common-sense.  She  was  yet  but  a  mere  child  of  ten  years 
when  the  home  was  desolated  by  the  death  of  her  mother. 
Neither  her  mother  nor  her  grandmother  Moore  had  closed  their 
lives  until  they  had  had  time  and  opportunity  to  tell  to  the  girl 
Hannah  that  which  one  can  easily  fancy  sank  into  her  heart — the 
story  of  the  elevated  sphere  of  public  and  religious  service  in 
which  her  Puritan  grandparents  had  spent  the  most  of  their  lives. 

From  the  time  of  her  early  childhood,  the  most  impressionable 
age,  her  father  Captain  John  Higley  had  been  a  man  of  promi- 
nence, in  well-to-do  circumstances,  and  a  leading  spirit  in  the 
town  and  colony.  She  saw  him  unusually  engrossed  in  public 
activities,  and  was  familiar  with  his  everyday  steps  in  official  and 
judicial  relations;  and  as  she  arrived  at  the  years  of  womanhood 
she  could  comprehend  something  of  his  great  executive  grasp  and 
conspicuous  force  of  character.  Captain  Higley  was,  of  course, 
surrounded  by  colleagues  who  were  intelligent,  earnest  men  of 
that  day,  with  whom  his  family  were  brought  more  or  less  into 
intercourse.  This  would  have  a  natural  effect  upon  them;  and 
Hannah,  no  doubt  by  her  sympathy  and  interest  with  her  father's 
life,  became  qualified  to  instill  into  her  own  offspring  in  after 
years  the  laudable  ambition  and  principles  which  led  them  into 
distinguished  careers  of  usefulness. 

In  the  twentieth  year  of  her  age  she  accepted  the  hand  of 
Captain  Joseph'  Trumbull,  to  whom  she  was  married  August  31, 
1704.  Captain  Trumbull  was  the  second  son  of  John  Trumbull, 
Jr.,  of  Suffield,  Conn.  He  went  from  his  native  town  to  Simsbury 
about  the  year  1703,  and  the  following  year  the  young  couple 
began  life  together.  He  was  a  young  man  possessing  energy,  but 
"  without  any  considerable  means."  *  His  grandson,  John  Trum- 
bull, says  of  him,  "he  was  a  respectable,  strong-minded,  but 
uneducated  farmer."  " 

In  less  than  a  month  after  their  marriage,  Joseph  and  Han- 

1  "  History  of  Lebanon."  *  "  History  of  My  Own  Times,"  by  John  Trumbull. 


nah  Trumbull  purchased  a  home  at  Lebanon,  Conn.,  to  which 
they  removed  and  settled.  The  town  had  now  been  organized 
but  four  years.  Their  home  was  a  half  allotment  containing 
twenty-one  acres  (forty-two  acres  was  a  "home  lot")  which  was 
bought  of  Josiah  Phelps  of  Colchester,  Conn.,  for  the  considera- 
tion of  sixty  pounds..  The  deed1  was  executed  September  21, 
1704,  and  was  acknowledged  before  Captain  John  Higley. 

Joseph  Trumbull  here  began  business  as  a  farmer  and  trader, 
and  proved  a  successful,  enterprising  merchant.  "He  became 
the  owner  of  a  ship  which  carried  his  own  cargoes,  and  was  a  man 
active  in  the  local  affairs  of  the  church  and  the  town,  and  for 
many  years  was  captain  of  the  train  band.  He  died  at  the  age  of 
seventy-seven  years." 

Captain  Joseph  Trumbull  and  Hannah  Higley  "  founded  the 
Lebanon  branch  of  the  Trumbull  family."  They  were  the  parents 
of  eight  children,  viz. :  Joseph,  Jonathan,  Mary,  Hannah,  Hannah 
again,  Abigail,  John,  and  David."* 

Their  fireside  appears  to  have  been  an  attractive  center.  With 
the  family  affection  which  habitually  marks  them,  the  Higleys 
of  Simsbury  and  the  Trumbull  household  appear  to  have  enjoyed 
a  partiality  for  each  other's  companionship.  While  he  was  yet 
a  minor,  Mrs.  Trumbull's  brother  Samuel  became  a  member  of 
her  family  and  was  probably  attending  school.  It  is  recorded 
that,  at  a  later  period,  her  niece  Elizabeth  Higley,3  the  daughter 
of  her  brother  Brewster,  "  spent  the  most  of  her  youth  and  girl- 
hood in  her  family  ";  and  in  a  few  years  her  sister  Mindwell,  and 
her  two  half  sisters,  Abigail  and  Susannah,  married — and  settled 
at  Lebanon  near  her. 

The  married  life  of  Hannah  Higley  Trumbull  was  sown  with 
many  high  joys,  mingled  with  touching  griefs.  Few  American 
women  whose  names  may  be  placed  upon  record  have  given 
motherhood  to  so  illustrious  a  progeny,  and  few  certainly  have 
lived  to  nurture  to  conspicuous  positions  two  of  its  generations. 
But  a  series  of  heavy  and  peculiar  domestic  afflictions  visited  her. 

In  the  year  1715  they  buried  their  little  Hannah  beneath  the 
sod.  On  the  23d  of  December,  1731,  their  eldest  son  Joseph 
left  home,  and  sailed  from  New  London,  Conn.,  on  the  28th  of 
the  same  month,  bound  for  London  in  a  ship  which,  with  the 

1  "  Lebanon  Land  Record,"  vol.  ii.  p.  52. 

*  See  chapter  Iviii.,  "  Descendants  of  Hannah  Higley  Trumbull." 

*  Afterward  the  grandmother  of  John  Brown  of  Harper's  Ferry  fame. 


entire  cargo,  was  owned  by  the  Trumbull  family.  Two  years 
later,  June,  1733,  the  vessel,  with  all  on  board,  was  lost  at  sea. 
The  family  hoped  until  hope  died  upon  the  possibility  that  their 
son  might  have  been  rescued,  but  no  tidings  of  comfort  ever 
reached  them — the  sea  never  gave  up  its  dead. 

But  three  years  later  on,  her  second  daughter  Hannah,  who 
had  married  Joseph  Sherman  on  the  2-jth  of  February,  1735,  died 
suddenly  November  7,  1736,  at  the  early  age  of  nineteen  years, 
leaving  an  infant  son  only  five  days  old;  and  the  following  year 
her  tender  affection  was  put  again  to  severe  trial  by  the  loss  at 
sea  of  her  younger  brother  Samuel,  who,  from  about  the  time  of 
her  own  marriage,  was  a  member  of  her  family  for  several  years. 
In  July,  1740,  she  was  destined  to  encounter  another  pathetic  grief 
by  a  stroke  of  death.  Her  youngest  child  David,  a  lad  of 
seventeen  years,  while  pursuing  his  senior  year  in  Yale  College 
with  most  promising  success,  came  home  on  a  vacation,  and  met 
his  death  by  accidental  drowning  in  a  mill-pond.  Her  sister 
Katherine  had  died  but  four  months  previous. 

The  bereavement  of  Ipsing  their  first-born  son,  Joseph  Trum- 
bull, Jr.,  in  1733,  who  was  his  father's  business  partner,  was  accom- 
panied by  other  trials  of  no  ordinary  moment.  The  financial  loss 
of  both  ship  and  cargo  proved  a  most  serious  matter  in  the  family 
fortunes,  and  the  severity  of  the  double  blow — the  loss  of  his  son 
under  such  sad  circumstances,  with  the  long  strain  of  watching 
and  waiting  which  followed,  and  the  loss  of  his  property — quite 
unfitted  Captain  Trumbull  for  further  business  activities.  The 
mental  strain  proved  too  great  for  the  power  of  his  mind  to 

At  this  juncture  it  became  necessary  to  call  Jonathan,  now 
her  only  son,  home  from  a  projected  interesting  field  of  labor  in 
the  ministry,  upon  which  he  had  set  his  heart,  to  the  aid  and 
rescue  of  the  embarrassed  business  house.  It  would  seem  that  the 
singular  tide  of  afflictive  circumstances,  which  brought  the  mother 
and  son  into  close  relations  in  the  management  of  their  affairs, 
tended  to  strengthen  the  bond  yet  firmer  which  existed  between 
them,  and  finally  permitted  Mrs.  Trumbull  to  see  the  fruit  she 
had  planted  in  his  early  years,  which  now  fast  ripened  into  his 
distinguished  career  as  a  public  official  and  a  noted  patriot.  The 
failure  of  his  father,  in  both  heart  and  fortune,  gave  him  a  respon- 
sible place  in  the  domestic  and  business  circles.  Mrs.  Trumbull 
was  now  in  the  full  years  of  energy  and  experience,  at  middle  life. 


It  is  easy  to  conclude  that  Mrs.  Trumbull's  life  interests  from 
this  time  were  bound  up  in  the  expanding  events  and  successes  of 
her  son  Jonathan,  the  future  Governor  of  Connecticut,  and  his 
family.  He  had  married  on  the  gih  of  December,  1736,  Faith 
Robinson  of  Duxbury,  Mass.,  a  girl  of  but  seventeen  years,  and 
settled  in  a  home  on  the  next  "lot  '^adjoining  his  parents.  Soon 
the  interesting  position  of  grandmother  to  his  growing  family 
became  Hannah's  sphere.  All  of  his  children  were  brought 
up  under  her  immediate  wing,  and  it  is  hardly  a  far-fetched 
fancy  to  suppose  that  she  had  some  share  in  controlling  their 

There  is  no  question  but  she  had  carefully  implanted  in  the 
youthful  mind  of  her  son  many  of  the  valuable  lessons  of  his  life, 
by  recounting  and  holding  up  for  imitation  incidents  in  the  ardent 
life  of  incessant  occupation  in  public  and  judicial  affairs  of  her 
clear-gritted  father,  Captain  John  Higley,  which  were  a  part  and 
parcel  of  her  own  life  interests  as  she  grew  to  womanhood.  Her 
grandfather,  Deacon  John  Moore,  had  held  a  deservedly  honorable 
position  in  Colonial  affairs  for  forty-seven  years,  and  had  much 
experience  in  legal  business.  His  repeated  terms  of  service  in 
the  General  Assembly  of  Connecticut  closed  only  with  his  death, 
which  took  place  but  six  years  before  Hannah  Higley  Trumbull 
was  born.  She  was  no  doubt  made  acquainted  with  traditionary 
events  which  had  happened  in  the  public  lives  of  both;  and  with 
the  heredity  of  the  distinguished  blood  of  the  Drakes  in  her 
veins  coming  down  through  many  generations,  she  was  fitted  to 
train  a  noble  man  to  stand  in  the  front  in  the  time  of  the  Colo- 
nies' greatest  need. 

The  principles  instilled  by  a  mother's  care  are  held  by  men  of 
the  highest  order  of  intellect,  and,  in  cases  not  a  few,  result  in 
honorable  and  distinguished  usefulness  in  after  life.  That  there 
was  an  unquestioned  inheritance  of  rare  abilities,  bequeathed  by 
heredity  through  Jonathan  Trumbull's  maternal  line  of  descent, 
and  which  is  notable  in  more  than  one  generation,  is  clearly 
traceable.  His  fine  constitution,  his  great  energy,  and  a 
vivid  perception,  were  strongly  marked  qualities  of  his  mother's 
family  line. 

To  aid  in  this  training,  her  husband  Captain  Joseph  Trumbull, 
feeling  keenly  himself  the  lack  of  an  education,  was  bent  upon 
bestowing  opportunities  upon  his  children  for  the  best  advan- 
tages for  instruction  which  the  country  then  afforded. 


It  was  no  commonplace  day  in  which  Hannah  Higley  in 
amiable  patience  rocked  the  cradle  of  her  child.  The  infant 
nation  was  sorely  feeling  its  wounds.  The  keel  of  our  Govern- 
ment was  in  slow  but  sure  process  of  construction.  The  founders 
of  the  republic  were  in  course  of  training  for  after  greatness, 
not  so  much  by  expansion  and  personal  contact  with  the  great 
world,  as  by  well-grounded,  industrious  habits  and  practical 
living.  They  were  drilled  in  many  of  the  higher  branches  of 
education,  many  of  them  were  well  read  in  law,  and  they  were 
endowed  with  high  principles  which  emanated  from  mothers  who 
were  the  animating  geniuses  of  their  homes,  together  with  the 
family  altars  of  these  old-time  households. 

When  Emir  Abd-el  Kader,  the  famous  Arab  chieftain,  on  visit- 
ing England,  made  the  inquiry  of  her  Queen:  "What  is  the 
source  of  England's  greatness?"  she  simply  and  silently  pointed 
to  an  open  Bible.  When  we  ask,  "From  whence  came  the 
exalted  principles  laid  down  in  the  formation  of  our  Govern- 
ment?" we  may  in  all  sincerity  point  to  the  mothers  of  our 
Revolutionary  sires  with  this  open  Bible  upon  their  knees,  which 
they  themselves  had  been  trained  to  read  and  profoundly 

"As  a  son,"  says  Stuart,  "her  son  Jonathan  was  ever  dutiful. 
Thoughtful  at  all  times  of  the  tender  cares  his  parents  had 
lavished  upon  his  own  infancy — of  the  watchfulness  with  which 
they  had  protected  the  careless  vigor  of  his  boyhood — and 
of  the  warm  ambition  and  free  expenditure  with  which  they 
had  conferred  upon  him  the  rich  boon  of  education — he  re- 
turned their  affectionate  offices  with  kindest  ministrations  of 
his  own — and,  like  a  gentle  spirit,  hovered  over  their  waning 

It  is  supposed  that  Hannah  Trumbull  passed  her  declining  years 
in  the  family  of  her  son  Jonathan  after  the  decease  of  her  hus- 
band Joseph  Trumbull,  which  took  place  June  16,  1755;  leaving 
her  a  widow  seventy-two  years  of  age.  And  it  may  be  said  that 
the  "  even-time"  of  her  life  was  lighter  and  brighter  than  other 
years  had  been. 

Mrs.  Trumbull  was  now  surrounded  by  an  interesting  group  of 
intelligent,  quick-minded  grandchildren,  in  whose  development 
she  could  not  have  failed  to  take  eminent  satisfaction.  The 
older  children  of  the  household  were  attending  the  celebrated 
Teasdale  Academy  located  in  Lebanon,  a  school  of  the  highest 


repute  in  New  England  and  one  which  Jonathan  Trumbull  was 
a  prime  mover  in  founding.  The  eldest  grandson,  Joseph,  was 
eighteen  at  the  time  of  his  grandfather's  death,  and  Jonathan,  Jr. 
(afterward  the  second  Governor  Trumbull  of  Connecticut),  was 
a  lad  of  fifteen.  David,  too,  the  third  son,  was  a  lively,  bound- 
ing boy,  and  without  doubt  on  many  an  occasion  excited  his 
grandmother's  pride,  though  at  that  date  in  the  history  of  the 
household  the  issues  of  the  future  illustrious  characters  it  con- 
tained were  yet  out  of  sight,  and  she  could  little  dream  that 
young  David  was  to  be  the  father  of  a  third  Governor  Trumbull, 
or  that  not  only  her  son,  but  a  grandson  and  a  great-grandson 
were  to  bear  the  distinguished  honors  of  filling  the  chief  execu- 
tive chair  of  the  State  of  Connecticut. 

While  the  venerable  grandmother  was  still  a  central  figure  in 
the  home,  the  two  granddaughters,  Faith  and  Mary,  were  sent  for 
finishing  touches  to  their  education  to  an  excellent  school  in 
Boston,  ''where  they  were  taught  embroidery,"  and,  says  John, 
the  younger  son  of  the  family,  in  his  autobiography,1  "Faith  had 
acquired  some  knowledge  of  drawing,  and  had  even  painted  in  oil 
two  heads  and  a  landscape.  These  wonders  were  hung  in  my 
mother's  parlor,  and  were  among  the  first  objects  that  caught 
my  infant  eye.  I  endeavored  to  imitate  them,  and  for  several 
years  the  nicely  sanded  floors  [for  carpets  were  then  unknown 
in  Lebanon]  were  constantly  scrawled  with  my  rude  attempts 
at  drawing." 

That  Hannah  Trumbull  was  a  mother  deserving  the  reverence 
and  affection  which  her  distinguished  son  gave  her  is  pleasingly 
shown  by  the  filial  love  and  marked  consideration  he  evidenced  in 
declining  in  May,  1756,  and  again  in  1758,  the  honor  of  an  appoint- 
ment by  the  Colonial  legislature,  to  go  upon  a  mission  to  the 
Government  of  Great  Britain,  giving  as  his  chief  reason  for  so 
doing,  in  his  communication  to  the  General  Assembly  :  "  I  con- 
sider the  duties  I  owe  my  aged  mother,  whose  dependence  is 
greatly  upon  me,  and  my  family." 

It  is  a  point  of  interest  to  pause  for  a  moment  and  reflect  upon 
what  an  interesting  incident  might  have  occurred,  and  how 
utterly  unforeseen  are  the  events  of  life,  had  the  grandson  of 
Captain  John  Higley — the  runaway  lad  from  England's  shores 
of  long  years  before — appeared  at  the  Court  of  Great  Britain  as 
a  representative  from  the  land  of  his  grandfather's  adoption. 

1  "  Life  of  John  Trumbull,"  p.  5. 


Hannah  Higley  Trumbull  lived  to  a  good  old  age.  It  was  in 
autumn,  as  the  leaves  were  falling,  that  the 

"blissful  union  which 
Lies  beyond  the  parting  vale  " 

took  place  between  her  and  her  husband,  whom  she  outlived 
thirteen  years,  and  by  whose  side  she  was  laid  in  the  ancient 
Lebanon  cemetery. 

That  Governor  Trumbull  inscribed  his  grandfather's  record 
upon  his  mother's  tomb  is  a  testimony  of  his  marked  respect  and 
devotion  to  the  memory  of  his  maternal  progenitor. 

The  inscription  is  as  follows  : 

f>ere  are  Deposited  g«  remains  of 

tors.  Tbannab  Grumbull,  late  wife  of 

Capt.  $osepb  Grumbull,  2>au0bter  of  Jobn 

•fcigles  of  Simsburs,  Bsqc.,  wbo  came  from 

jfrimteg  in  BC  Counts  of  Surrey,  bg  flfcrs. 

fjannab  Drake  bis  first  wife.   Sbe  was  born  at 

mtnosor  220  Sprit  1683.    2>ieo  at 
Xebanon  8tb  Hov.  1768,  ageo  85  gears,  6  mo.  &  15  Dags. 

For  the  descendants  of  Hannah  Higley  Trumbull,  see  chapter  Iviii. 



"  This  world  will  never  know  in  how  many  hearts  he  has  written  his  name." 

A  SHADE  of  obscurity  covers  the  life  of  Joseph  Higley,  the 
seventh  child  in  the  family  of  Captain  John  Higley.  Indeed,  since 
no  exact  date  of  his  birth  can  be  discovered,  it  is  only  through 
the  wills  and  other  legal  documents  that  his  place  is  found  in  the 
family  group  beside  his  sister  Hannah  Trumbull,  and  that  his  life 
covered  a  period  of  about  thirty  years. 

He  was  born  about  the  year  1685,  and  died  May  3, 1715.  He  never 
married.  His  life  was  apparently  entirely  uneventful.  There  is 
reason  for  believing  that  from  his  early  youth  his  constitution 
was  never  robust,  and  his  "weak  state  of  body"  is  further  con- 
firmed by  a  declaration  to  that  effect  in  his  will. 

Boys  from  the  age  of  sixteen  and  upward  were  expected  to  con- 
form to  the  law  and  hold  in  possession  a  gun,  which  they  were  to 
have  in  continual  readiness  for  bearing  their  part  in  the  military 
defense.1  Joseph  Higley's  chief  and  almost  only  possessions 
appear  to  have  been  his  firearms  and  riding  equipments,  together 
with  his  portion  of  valuable  lands  lying  in  Turkey-Hills  in  close 
proximity  to  his  brother  Samuel's,  which  he  received  from  his 
father's  estate  ;  also,  property  from  his  mother's  estate  at 

His  will,  which  is  brief,  bequeathes  all  of  his  property  to  his 
"well-beloved  brothers,  John  and  Brewster  Higley,"  whom  he 
named  his  executors. 

The  inventory  of  his  personal  effects,  taken  August  31,  1715, 
consisted  of  his  wearing  apparel,  "pistols  and  holster,  and  gun, 
bridle  reins,  etc.,  and  a  book";  ail  of  which  were  appraised  at 

£™  175. 

It  is  supposed  that  he  was  laid  in  the  ancient  burial  ground  at 

1  "  If  a  youth  did  not  have  sufficient  means  for  the  purchase  of  firearms  for  himself,  the  law  required 
him  to  '  bring  to  the  Town  Clerk  so  much  corn  or  other  merchantable  goods,'  and  a  gun  with  the 
necessary  belongings  was  furnished  him  at  the  expense  of  the  town." — Colonial  Records  of  Connec- 
ticut, 1665-77. 



Who  are  the  nobly  great  ?    . 
They  who  have  toiled  and  studied  for  mankind, 
Aroused  the  slumbering  virtues  of  the  mind, 
Taught  us  a  thousand  blessings  to  create — 
These  are  the  nobly  great. 


THERE  centers  about  the  life  of  Samuel  Higley,  the  fourth  son 
and  eighth  child  of  Captain  John  and  Hannah  Drake  Higley,  much 
that  is  of  provincial  importance,  the  success  of  his  achievements 
having  given  him  a  name  worthy  of  national  note. 

He  was  born  in  the  paternal  homestead  at  Simsbury,  Conn., 
about  the  year  1687;  the  precise  date  cannot  be  discovered. 
Like  his  brothers  and  sisters  he  was  brought  up  in  an  atmosphere 
of  diligence  and  perseverance. 

From  the  first  knowledge  that  is  gained  of  him  he  betrays 
unusual  talents  and  genius,  possessing  a  shrewd,  sagacious,  and 
original  mind,  which  leaned  to  investigation,  with  no  torpor  in  his 
constitution.  He  became  a  man  of  science.  No  sooner  does  he 
appear  in  one  direction  in  an  effort  to  accomplish  a  project,  than 
his  power  of  origination  immediately  leads  him  into  another  cur- 
rent of  a  different  type. 

His  opportunity  for  learning  was  much  in  advance  of  his  older 
brothers;  he  having  been  sent  to  the  best  educational  institutions 
in  the  colony,  where  he  received  a  classical  education,  and  his 
development  of  capacity  gives  evidence  that  he  made  the  best  use 
of  these  advantages.  There  is  a  credible  tradition  that  he  was 
for  two  years  a  student  of  Yale  College  very  soon  after  the 
"  Collegiate  School"  was  founded,  where  he  was  distinguished  for 
studiousness  "  with  credit  to  himself." 

From  this  time  ever  afterward  Samuel  was  "  the  scribe  "  of  the 
family,  and  was  so  designated  by  the  household.  His  style  of  pen- 
manship was  a  neat,  clear,  and  bold  hand,  that  is  very  frequently 
found  upon  the  books  embellished  with  fanciful  strokes  and 
dashes  which  do  not  fail  to  mark  the  reader's  curious  attention. 



It  appears  that  soon  after  the  marriage  of  his  sister  Hannah  to 
Joseph  Trumbull,  while  he  was  yet  in  his  teens,  he  resided  in  her 
family  at  Lebanon,  Conn.  An  expense  account,  entered  into  an 
account  book  in  his  father's  hand,  is  as  follows  : 

"  Joseph  Trumbull  of  Lebanon  Dr. —     Per  Contra  C.  £    s.    d. 

by  boarding  and  cloatheing  of  Sam1  Higley  in  his  nonage  by  his 
father's  Desire  by  agreement, 500" 

How  long  he  remained  at  Lebanon  cannot  be  ascertained ;  how- 
ever, we  are  warranted  in  the  conclusion  that  it  was  during  the 
period  when  he  was  from  seventeen  to  twenty-one  years  of  age, 
and  it  is  supposed  that  he  was  pursuing  his  studies.  As  he  was 
but  seven  years  of  age  when  his  mother  died,  the  care  of  his 
young  boyhood  may  have  fallen  largely  upon  this  sister, — 
Hannah, — resulting  in  a  warm  attachment  between  the  two; 
there  being  evidences  that  he  was  much  at  Lebanon  after  she  was 
settled  in  her  home  there,  and  that  the  future  Governor  of  Con- 
necticut— the  first  Governor  Trumbull,  in  his  early  years  was  the 
daily  companion  of  this  uncle. 

The  year  1714  found  him  a  schoolmaster.  He  continued  teach- 
ing for  three  years,  and  at  the  same  time  devoted  himself  to  the 
study  of  "  Physic  and  chyrurgary." 

In  the  same  year  his  father  died;  and  Samuel,  though  yet 
a  young  man,  was  chosen  to  act  with  his  eldest  brother  John 
Higley,  as  executor  of  the  estate;  his  scholarly,  acute  mental 
abilities  no  doubt  fitting  him  in  the  mind  of  his  father  to  be 
his  most  suitable  child  in  whom  to  repose,  together  with  his 
brother,  this  trust.  The  care  of  the  estate  claimed  the  attention 
of  the  two  brothers  for  several  years. 

At  a  later  date,  on  the  executors  offering  a  piece  of  land  at 
public  sale  which  had  been  owned  by  Captain  Higley,  certain 
charges  among  Samuel's  accounts  are  significant  of  the  fact  that 
he  was  not  unaccustomed  to  turning  his  natural  sagacity  to 
profitable  ends;  and  that  he  well  understood  the  exhilarating 
effects  and  jovial  good  feeling,  tending  toward  a  good  bargain, 
which  might  be  produced  by  offering  a  social  bait  to  his  neighbors 
and  friends. 

"  1723  Sept,  18.     To  my  Travail  from  Lebanon  to  Simsbury  (to  sell      s.     d. 

Said  Land)  and  my  ferriage, IO     JO 

To  2  Quarts  of  Rumm  and  a  pownd  of  Shugar  for  to  Invite  bidders 

at  Said  Vendue,     . 49" 

SAMUEL  HIGLEY,    1ST.  117 

"  Then  whisky  made  by  honest  men 
Was  drank  by  men  upright." 

Another  entry  shows  that,  during  the  year  1716,  he  suffered 
with  an  illness  which  must  have  been  of  considerable  duration. 
To  his  brother-in-law,  Nathaniel  Bancroft,  he  paid  ^3  los.  for 
"  keeping  me  when  sik  by  agreement. "  He  made  purchase  the 
same  year  of  a  "  mar  and  colt"  at  a  cost  of  ^6  ios.,  probably 
for  use  in  his  medical  practice. 

From  1714  to  1717  he  was  preparing  himself,  under  the  tutorage 
of  Drs.  Thomas  Hooker  and  Samuel  Mather  of  Hartford,  Conn., 
to  enter  the  medical  profession. 

The  standard  of  medical  education  during  the  times  of  Dr. 
Samuel  Higley,  and  the  method  and  opportunities  for  gaining 
medical  and  surgical  knowledge,  were  practically  another  matter 
from  the  system  of  to-day.  From  a  scientific  standpoint  the 
ignorance  of  the  profession,  as  compared  with  its  present  high 
attainment,  was  lamentable.  The  progressive  days  of  antagonistic 
''schools"  of  medicine  and  organized  medical  societies  had  not 
yet  come.  Professional  training  was  obtained  privately  ;  the 
student  entering  the  office  of  a  prominent  practicing  physician, 
under  whose  direction  and  instruction  he  "  read,"  or  studied. 

The  young  would-be  doctor  was,  however,  required  to  give 
himself  to  diligent  application  in  study  and  to  the  studious  inves- 
tigation of  disease  such  as  he  could  gain  from  the  limited  medical 
works  which  were  put  into  his  hands.1  When  sufficiently  ad- 
vanced, he  accompanied  his  medical  tutor  upon  his  "rounds"  in 
his  professional  visits  for  one  or  two  years.  He  was  then  con- 
sidered ready  to  enter  the  ranks  of  recognized  practitioners  ;  and 
now  might  apply  for  a  license.8 

The  medical  tutors  of  Samuel  Higley  were  residents  of  Hartford, 
and  were  experienced  men,  standing  foremost  in  their  profes- 
sion. Dr.  Thomas  Hooker  was  a  grandson  of  the  Rev.  Thomas 
Hooker,  the  founder  of  Hartford,  Conn.,  and  of  eminent  New  Eng- 
land fame,  and  son  of  the  Rev.  Samuel  Hooker  of  Farmington. 
He  was  "approved  and  allowed  to  goe  on  in  the  practice  of  phis- 

1  A  practical  knowledge  of  anatomy  was  exceedingly  difficult  to  obtain.  It  was  not  until  sixty- 
seven  years  after  this  period  that  "  the  State  of  Massachusetts  passed  an  Act  regarding  anatomy, 
which  was  the  first  legislative  Act  in  this  country  that  is  known,  providing  that  human  bodies 
which  had  been  executed  or  killed  in  duel  might  be  given  up  to  surgeons  for  dissection." 

a  "  The  average  fee  for  a  country  physician  was  one  shilling  for  a  less  distance  than  two  miles,  i.  e. 
thirteen  and  one  half  cents,  and  an  additional  shilling  for  every  additional  mile."    The  physician 
compounded  and  prepared  his  medicines  with  his  own  hands. 


sick   by  the  Court  held,    Oct  1684,"  and  had  now  been  in   the 
practice  of  his  profession  thirty-three  years. 

Dr.  Samuel  Mather  was  scarcely  less  noted,  being  the  son  of 
the  Rev.  Samuel  Mather  of  Windsor,  Conn.,  a  minister  of  distin- 
guished prominence,  and  one  of  the  founders  of  Yale  University. 
He  had  had  a  high  medical  reputation  for  a  number  of  years.  He 
is  found  visiting  patients  at  Windsor  in  1705,  his  professional  cir- 
cuit extending  over  many  miles  of  country  in  Hartford  County. 

The  Rev.  Timothy  Woodbridge,  then  of  Hartford,  who  was 
another  of  the  brood  of  noted  ministers  of  the  times,  and  also 
one  of  the  founders  of  Yale,  was  a  faithful  friend  of  the  Hig- 
leys,  of  long  standing,  and  interested  himself  in  Samuel's 

Enjoying  as  Samuel  Higley  did  the  close  friendship  and  com- 
panionship of  these  leading  theologians  and  scientific  men  of  the 
colony,  they  brought,  no  doubt,  a  very  perceptible  influence  upon 
his  social  tastes  as  well  as  his  professional  life.  That  he  was  a 
student  whose  individual  merit  was  valued  is  shown  by  the  excel- 
lent recommendations  given  him  by  these  men  of  first  consequence 
in  the  colony. 

The  winter  of  1716-17  was  spent  at  Woodbridge,  N.  J.,  in  the 
practice  of  his  profession.  In  the  spring  of  the  latter  year  he 
made  application  to  the  General  Assembly  of  Connecticut  for  a 

"HARTFORD  CONN.,  May  20,  1717. 
"To  the  Honourable  ye  Generall  Assembly  ;  &c. 

"  Samuel  Higley  of  Simsbury  Humbly  sheweth,  That  by  good 
Providence  I  have  had  more  than  common  Education  ;  and  being 
employed  Three  years  in  Keeping  school,  did  Improve  all  Opor- 
tunities  in  the  Study  of  Physick  and  Chyrurgary,  since  which  for 
Two  Years  past  have  studyed  and  practiced  said  Arts  under  the 
care  and  Instruction  of  Doctor  Thomas  Hooker  and  Doctor 
Samuel  Mather  who  have  pleased  to  Recommend  me,  as  one 
qualified  for  that  service,  and  advise  that  I  apply  my  Self  to  this 
Hond  Cort  for  a  Lycence. 

"  I  do  therefore  Humbly  Pray  Youl'd  Please  to  give  your  Apro- 
bation  and  Allowance  by  Granting  a  Lycence  that  I  may  Practis 
S'd  Arts  Orderly  ;  which  may  be  to  the  Comfort  and  Welfare  of 

1  "  To  the  ministers  in  these  days  were  submitted  all  matters  that  required  legal  and  learned 

SAMUEL  HIGLEY,    1ST.  119 

ye  Generation  which  I  am  Obliged  to  Serve,  as  well  as  to  my  own 
profit  and  advantage,  and  your  Petitioner  shall  ever  Pray,  &c. 


"The  above  Petition  allowed  in  the  Upper  House. 
"  Test,  HEZ.  WYLLYS  Secretary. 
"  In  the  lower  House  past. 

"  I  WADSWORTH  Clerk."  * 

From  the  original  papers  to  which  are  appended  the  original 
Autographs  : 

"Considering  ye  great  want  of  learned  and  faithful  physicians 
amongst  us,  and  knowing  Mr.  Sam11  Higley's  abilities  and  ye  prog- 
ress he  hath  made  in  ye  Theory  and  practice  in  ye  Art  of  physic 
and  Chyrurgary,  we  ye  Subscribers  do  hereby  recommend  him  to 
ye  Generall  Assembly  now  sitting  as  one  qualified  for  a  Licen- 
tiate. "THOMAS  HOOKER)  Meda 

"May  nth,  1717.  "SAM1  MATHER  )  Practitioners  " 

"This  may  certify  that  upon  good  information  I  have  been 
asured  that  Mr.  Samuel  Higley  practiced  physic  ye  last  winter  at 
Woodbridge  in  ye  Jerseys  with  good  success  and  acceptance. 

"May  2Qth,  1717.  "T.  WOODBRIDGE." 

From  "  Colonial  Records  of  Connecticut,"  1725  : a 

"  Samuel  Higley  of  Simsbury  having  produced  to  this  Assembly 
authentick  testimonials  of  the  progress  he  hath  made  in  the  theory 
and  practice  of  chyrurgary  and  physic  :  Whereupon  this  Assembly 
do  grant  licence  to  said  Samuel  Higley  to  practice  both." 

Although,  like  many  other  men  of  his  day,  Dr.  Samuel  Higley 
had  engaged  in  educational  interests  and  pursued  scientific  inves- 
tigation with  eager  energy  ;  although  he  held  considerable  wealth 
as  a  landowner  and  was  now  engaged  in  medical  practice,  never- 
theless he  had  meanwhile  found  time  to  learn  a  trade,  and  be- 
came a  practical  blacksmith. 

As  has  been  already  stated  the  trades  and  professions  were 
curiously  mingled  in  those  times.  It  has  been  remarked  that 
"assorted  vocations  were  then  as  common  as  assorted  wares." 

1  From  the  original  copy  of  "Appointments  by  the  General  Assembly  Courts,  1669-1724,"  in  the 
Connecticut  State  Library  ;  kindly  furnished  by  C.  J.  Hoadly.  State  Librarian. 
»  Page  15. 



At  this  early  period  the  fees  received  by  surgeons  and  medical 
men  being  very  meager,  it  was  frequently  the  case  that  they 
sought  additional  vocations  for  increasing  their  annual  income. 

It  was  at  the  forge  that  Dr.  Higley  afterward  developed  his 
genius  and  attained  his  widest  celebrity.  His  lamp  now  began 
to  shine  with  a  good  deal  of  brilliancy  in  the  Colony. 

The  following  is  the  record  of  his  marriage,  which  took  place 
at  Westfield,  Mass. : 

"Sept  19  1719 — Mr.  Samuel  Higley  and  Abigail  Beman  had  their  names  with 
their  intentions  of  marriage  were  given  to  me  and  entered  in  order  to  publication  on 
the  day  above  stated." 

He  appears  soon  after  this  date  to  have  established  a  home  of 
his  own  at  Simsbury.  In  his  home,  as  well  as  in  other  colonial 
homes  of  that  day,  quantities  of  pork  and  rye  were  consumed. 

The  following  is  a  specimen  of  charges  in  account  with  his 
father's  estate  : 




"  Samuel  Higley  Dr.  to  Estate. 






o  M 

His  house,  which  is  marked  with  perfect  clearness  on  a  map 
made  about  1728-29,  is  found  situated  at  the  "vineyard  notch," 
on  the  rocky  ridge  of  the  Talcott  range,  a  chain  of  fine  mountain- 
ous hills  rising  from  five  hundred  to  one  thousand  feet  above  the 
sea  level.  It  overlooked  for  many  miles,  toward  different  points 
of  the  compass,  a  grand  stretch  of  the  green-robed  valleys  of  the 
beautiful  Connecticut  and  Farmington  rivers,  and  stood  con- 
spicuous from  almost  every  outlook  in  the  valley.  The  beauty 
of  its  location  could  scarcely  be  surpassed.  Nature  gave,  in 
exquisite  touches  of  landscape,  a  charming  scene  from  his  door- 
way, from  whence  he  could  proudly  view  all  of  the  neighboring 

In  one  direction  a  fine  picture  is  presented  to  the  eye  in  the 

SAMUEL  HIGLEY,    1ST.  1 21 

ragged  ledges  rising,  height  above  height,  thinly  clad  in  pines  and 
cedars;  while,  by  taking  a  few  steps  from  his  house,  he  could  com- 
mand a  view  of  his  copper-mining  lands,  between  which  and  his 
home  lay  a  marsh  and  meadow,  now  covered  with  brambles  and 
the  home  of  frogs. 

Whittier  wrote,  after  visiting  the  scene  in  1830,  just  one  hun- 
dred years  afterward  : 

"  Beautiful  Mount  !  with  thy  waving  wood 
And  thy  old,  gray  rocks,  like  ruins  rude 
And  hoary  and  mossy  in  masses  piled, 
Where  the  heart  had  thrilled  and  the  dark  eye  smiled. 
I  love  to  gaze  from  thy  towered  brow 
On  the  gloom  and  grandeur  and  beauty  below, 
When  the  wind  is  rocking  thy  dwarfish  pines, 
And  thy  ruffled  lake  in  the  sunlight  shines — 
W'here  the  beautiful  valleys  look  glad  afar, 
Like  the  fairy  land  of  some  holy  star 
By  Fancy  seen — where  the  soul  goes  forth, 
With  an  unchanged  wing  from  the  cold,  dull  earth  ; 
And  the  mists  from  its  vision  pass  away 
Like  the  shade  of  night  from  the  glance  of  day  ! 
'Tis  gladness  all — like  a  dream  of  love, 
With  a  smiling  forehead  beaming  above, 
And  a  beautiful  hand  on  the  temples  pressing 
As  softly  and  sweet  as  an  angel's  blessing; 
And  a  tone  breathed  low  in  the  dreaming  ear, 
Like  the  chastened  music  which  spirits  hear. 

"  Beautiful  Mount  ! — I  may  look  no  more 
On  thy  ancient  rocks,  and  thy  lake's  green  shore — 
Yet  the  spirit's  pencil  has  traced  thy  chart 
Of  wildness  and  joy  on  the  human  heart — 
And  though  my  step  may  be  far  from  where 
Thy  pine-tops  shake  in  the  stirring  air, 
Yet  oft  will  that  chart  before  me  pass 
Like  a  shadowed  dream  in  a  mystic  glass  ; 
And  thy  form  and  features,  as  now  thou  art, 
Live  on  in  the  secret  depths  of  the  heart." 

— J.  G.  W. 

A  few  stones  which  mark  the  foundation,  a  family  group  of 
venerable  apple  trees,  and  a  spring  choked  with  fallen  leaves  and 
rubbish  from  the  native  forest  trees  which  surround  it,  still  mark 
the  spot  which  Dr.  Samuel  Higley  called  home. 

The  road  to  the  summit  of  the  mountain,  by  which  the  dwell- 
ing was  reached,  long  since  became  almost  untraceable. 


It  is  easy  to  trace  in  Samuel  Higley's  nature  a  certain  amount  of 
enthusiasm;  he  was  undoubtedly  possessed  of  an  ardent  tempera- 
ment. The  birth  of  his  first  child,  Jonathan,  occurred  in  the  sum- 
mer of  1721.  The  date  and  time  of  entry  upon  the  public  records 
of  Simsbury  would  indicate  that  he  sped  his  way  with  great 
alacrity  to  announce  and  record  *  the  happy  event,  the  record  hav- 
ing been  made  in  his  own  clear,  bold  handwriting  in  the  brief 
space  of  one  hour  after  the  birth,  though  his  home  was  more  than 
five  miles  distant. 

Annie,  his  first  daughter,  was  .born  September  4,  1726,  "at 
break  of  day."  His  third  and  last  daughter  is  simply  recorded 
thus  : 

"Abigail,  daughter  of  Samuel  Higley  and  Abigail  his  wife  was 
born  June  22d  1733."  a 

In  town  affairs  Dr.  Samuel  Higley  appears  to  have  entered 
with  readiness,  though  his  activities  in  this  connection  are  not 
found  to  equal  those  of  his  brothers  John  and  Brewster.  His 
name,  however,  appears  in  honorable  appointments  upon  town 
committees  for  various  services.  But  it  is  found  written  in  no 
church-roll ;  there  is  not  a  scrap  in  his  history  upon  this  point.3 
In  one  instance,  recorded  December  21,  1728,  he  and  Timothy 
Phelps  served  from  Turkey-Hills  to  "  lay  the  circumstances  of  the 
Town  before  a  committee  appointed  by  the  General  Assembly 
concerning  the  location  of  a  meeting  house."  * 

The  scientific  bent  of  his  mind  turned  him  to  experimenting, 
and  finally  to  discovering  a  process  for  the  manufacture  of  steel, 
which  he  claimed,  in  his  petition  to  the  General  Assembly  for  a 
license,  was  the  first  effort  in  America,  and  which  made  him  some 
fame.  Meeting  with  encouraging  success  he  enlisted  the  interest 
of  a  partner,  Joseph  Dewey  of  Hebron,  Conn.,  and  in  1727 
applied  for  a  patent.  Proof  was  produced  that  he  had  made  steel 
from  the  iron  found  in  Turkey-Hills,  which,  by  experienced 
judges,  was  pronounced  a  good  article.  His  scheme  and  labor 
proved  successful.  The  petition  was  granted  May,  1728,  and  a 
patent  secured  according  the  privilege  of  manufacturing  steel 
for  a  term  of  ten  years. 

1  Book  iii.  "  Simsbury  Records,"  p.  261.  a  Book  iii.  "  Simsbury  Records,"  p.  327. 

8  There  are  slight  evidences  that  he  was  in  sympathy  with  the  Church  of  England. 
*  Book  iii.  Town  Acts,  p.  44. 

SAMUEL  HIGLEY,    1ST.  123 

How  long  he  continued  in  the  enterprise  is  uncertain.  There 
is  no  indication  that  the  undertaking  failed,  but  Dr.  Samuel  Hig- 
ley's  death  occurred  before  the  lease  expired.  The  patent  ap- 
pears to  have  been  held  until  the  expiration  of  the  lease,  no 
other  application  being  granted  for  twelve  years,  when  the 
General  Court  then  granted  a  license  for  the  same  object  to 
Thomas  Fitch,  George  Wyllys,  and  Robert  Walker,  for  a  term  of 
fifteen  years. 

The  colonists  were  at  this  time  greatly  hampered  in  their 
efforts  at  manufacturing.  There  was  little  incentive — beyond 
their  actual  needs — to  push  the  industries.  As  the  country  en- 
larged, and  lucrative  trade  and  manufacturing  interests  increased, 
the  English  Government  was  casting  jealous  eyes  at  every  move- 
ment that  men  of  affairs  on  American  soil  were  making  to  supply 
the  colonists'  necessities.  From  merchants  and  manufacturers  in 
England  who  consulted  their  selfish  interests  came  constant  com- 
plaints to  the  Crown,  and  Parliament  had  passed  oppressive  and 
stringent  laws  of  trade.  England  was  already  declaring  "that 
the  erecting  of  manufactories  in  the  colonies,  tended  to  lessen 
their  dependence  upon  Great  Britain,"  *  and  was  laying  a  heavy 
hand  upon  the  western  colonies  through  these  restraining  laws. 
It  finally  came  to  pass,  a  few  years  later,  that  the  manufacture  of 
iron  and  steel  was  entirely  prohibited,  and  "slitting  mills,  forges 
and  furnaces  in  the  colonies  were  declared  by  the  home  Govern- 
ment common  nuisances."  '  Thus  she  unwittingly  was  maturing 
the  sprouting  seed  which,  in  after  years,  developed  open  rupture 
and  revolution. 

As  has  been  stated,  Dr.  Samuel  Higley  was  a  considerable  land- 
holder, for  those  times.  From  his  father's  estate  he  received  his 
full  share.  This  laid  toward  Turkey-Hills.  That  which  he 
received  by  inheritance  from  his  mother  he  sold  to  his  sister 
Sarah.  His  acres  were  further  added  to  by  legacy  from  his 
brother  Jonathan  at  his  death;  and  at  the  general  distribution  of 
common  and  undivided  lands  made  at  a  town  meeting  held  January 
2,  1723,  he  was  one  among  other  Higleys,  together  with  a  large 
number  of  individuals  who  received  grants.  "These  grants 
were  apportioned,  it  is  believed,  by  the  respective  amounts  of 
the  grantees'  lists  of  estates,  and  contained  quantities  varying 
from  one  hundred  and  fifty  to  forty  acres  each."  * 

1  Pitkin's  "  Political  and  Civil  History  of  the  United  States,"  p.  101. 
3  Phelps,  "  History  of  Simsbury." 


But  his  most  valuable  ownership  was  a  tract  of  one  hundred 
and  forty-three  acres,  which  he  purchased  July  29,  1728.  The 
deed  was  given  by  William  Dement  of  Enfield,  Mass.  This  tract 
lay  adjoining  lands  which  Dr.  Higley  already  owned.  For  three 
different  adjoining  tracts  located  "on  and  neat  unto  ye  east 
mountain  toward  that  part  of  ye  town  called  Turkey  Hills,"  he 
paid  "  ye  sum  of  five  hundred  pounds  currant  New  England 
money."  *  The  first  "parcell"  described  in  the  deed  was  marsh 
or  meadow  land  with  "ten  acres  of  upland  originally  granted  to 
Mr.  Simon  Wolcott  by  the  town  meeting,  Aug.  2ist  1671,  and 
laid  out  Jan.  ist  1674,  which  contains  by  estimate  forty  acres."2 
Upon  this  tract  was  situated  the  Higley  copper-mine. 

The  second  piece  of  land  was  at  "the  westwardly  end  of  a 
lot  granted  to  Capt.  John  Higley,  containing  thirteen  acres." 
Upon  this  was  located  his  dwelling  upon  the  mountain. 

The  next  tract  lying  between  the  above-named  "parcells" 
extended  for  "a  mile  in  length  and  forty-five  rods  in  width, 
bounded  northerly  by  ye  road  that  crosses  ye  mountain."  Here 
he  built,  a  few  years  later — between  1730-34 — another  dwelling 
house,  to  which  he  appears  to  have  removed. 

The  ruin  of  this  house  is  still  standing  [1892],  though  it  is  on 
the  verge  of  falling  to  the  ground  and  is  uninhabitable.  It 
stands  in  close  proximity  to  the  well-known  Higley  copper-mine  ; 
a  mine  that  has  associated  the  family  name  with  a  good  degree  of 
distinction  during  the  last  one  hundred  and  sixty-four  years.  It 
seems  quite  clear  that  Dr.  Samuel  Higley  was  occupying  this 
new  dwelling  at  the  time  of  his  decease.  That  he  was  its 
builder  is  plainly  to  be  seen.  The  massive  iron  door-latches  and 
hinges  hammered  out  by  hand,  the  nails  with  which  the  building 
is  constructed,  every  one  of  which  were  patiently  wrought  out 
on  the  blacksmith's  forge,  and  the  wrought-iron  crane  in  the 
huge  chimney  fireplace  all  give  unmistakable  signs  that  they 
were  the  handicraft  of  its  old-time  builder  and  owner.  It  is  a 
fair  colonial  relic  of  the  houses  of  its  day.  It  is  entered  by  the 
traditional  south  door,  a  flowing  spring  is  close  by,  and  the  old 
well,  with  the  remains  of  the  old-time  well-sweep,  is  still  here, 
and  from  the  brim  of 

"The  old  oaken,  iron-bound,  moss-covered  bucket," 
the  ancient  miner  used  to  drink  no  doubt  many  a  refreshing  quaff. 

1  Book  v.  "  Simsbury  Record,"  p.  3-55.     The  original  boundaries  are  described  upon  Record. 
s  Book  i.  "  Simsbury  Records,"  p.  128. 

SAMUEL   HIGLEY,    1ST.  125 


The  location  of  the  Higley  copper-mine  at  the  time  when  it 
was  owned  by  Dr.  Samuel  Higley,  and  during  the  fifty  succeed- 
ing years,  was  in  the  township  of  Simsbury,  Conn.  A  subdivision 
of  the  township  in  1786  included  the  mine  in  that  part  called 
Granby  till  the  year  1858,  when  a  subsequent  subdivision  was 
made  which  places  it  at  the  present  date  in  East  Granby. 

It  was  property  held  quite  separate  from  the  famous  New- 
gate prison  and  copper-mines,  from  which  it  was  separated  a 
distance  of  one  and  a  half  mile  to  the  south. 

Whether  this  mine  had  been  worked  before  Dr.  Higley  became 
the  owner  of  the  lands  cannot  be  ascertained.  It  was  success- 
fully worked  about  forty-seven  years  during  that  century,  from 
the  time  that  Dr.  Higley  operated  it.  Large  heaps  of  ore  and 
bits  of  copper  can  now  be  found  on  the  spot  ;  probably  the 
remains  of  operations  which  were  begun  and  abandoned  after  a 
brief  period  about  1831. 

There  are  two  shafts  which  go  down  through  trap  rocks, 
with  which  this  and  the  adjacent  mountainous  hills  abound,  and 
one  of  these,  though  choked  with  the  debris  and  rubbish  which 
have  been  collecting  for  the  last  sixty  years,  is  still  twenty  feet 

The  mine  contains  valuable  deposits  of  mineral,1  "-some 
masses,"  it  is  said,  "producing  as  much  as  thirty  to  forty  per 
cent,  of  copper.  The  average  product  was  from  ten  to  twelve 
per  cent.  Professor  Silliman  of  Yale  University,  who  made  the 
latest  survey  of  these  mines  on  Copper-Hill  [about  1870],  says  : 
'  the  ore  is  of  the  most  valuable  description.' ' 

There  is  a  traditional  story  afloat,  which  was  told  to  the  writer 
by  an  elderly  gentleman  living  in  the  vicinity,  who  used  to  hear 
his  aged  father  and  the  old  men  of  the  neighborhood  say  that 
in  some  spots  the  deposit  of  copper  in  the  mine  was  so  rich  and 
of  such  fineness  that  Higley  was  in  the  habit  of  entering  his  mine 
with  a  pick,  obtaining  a  lump  of  almost  pure  metal,  and  making 
a  coin,  with  which  he  would,  in  his  liking  for  convivial  enjoyment, 
make  himself  doubly  welcome  over  the  social  mug  at  the  nearest 

In  the  early  history  of  the  mining  interests  the  ore  was  sent 
to  England  and  smelted  there,  no  furnaces  being  permitted  in 

'"History  of  Newgate  of  Connecticut." 


the  colonies.1  To  ship  the  ore  to  England  they  were  forced  to 
transport  it  in  wagons  over  the  steep,  mountainous  hills,  and 
rough  roads  newly  made  through  the  wilds  of  the  forests,  to  a 
shipping  point  on  the  Connecticut  River,  where  it  became  the  cargo 
of  sailing  vessels,  which  were  many  weeks  in  crossing  the  ocean. 
The  energy  and  courage  of  Dr.  Samuel  Higley  did  not  fail  be- 
cause of  the  difficulties  in  the  way.  He  owned  and  continued 
to  operate  the  mine  until  his  death.  The  property  has  always 
been  known  and  described  in  the  deeds  until  about  1870,  as  "the 
Higley-mine"  and  "mining-lands." 


Meanwhile  the  remarkable  genius  and  inventive  faculties  of  our 
physician-blacksmith  were  in  practical  play  upon  another  enter- 
prise, which  stamps  his  name  in  the  very  early  history  of  the 
numismatic  annals  of  our  country.  He  had  no  "learned  black- 
smith "  preceding  him,  whose  life  might  have  been  an  incentive 
to  learning  and  genius;  his  new  enterprise  was  due  solely  to  his 
natural  originality  and  excellent  ability.  "Elihu  Burrett  and 
Robert  Collyer,"  said  Beecher,  "  of  whom  blacksmiths  love  to 
speak,  had  not  yet  been  born  nor  lived  to  hammer  out  their  learn- 
ing at  night  by  the  forge."  Like  Franklin,  whose  scientific  ideas 
were  always  practical,  Dr.  Samuel  Higley  applied  his  "wit  and 
wisdom  "  to  practical  account.  He  suggested  a  way  to  meet  a 
deficient  circulation  of  currency  by  turning  pure  copper  into  a 
money  metal,  and  was  the  designer  and  manufacturer,  so  far  as  is 
known,  of  the  first  copper  coinage  of  the  country.2 

Just  when  he  began  the  manufacture  of  the  "  Higley  Coppers  " 3 

1  "At  one  period  the  restrictions  of  the  English  Government  were  disregarded,  and  a  mill  for 
crushing  the  ore  which  the  different  mines  on  Copper-hill  yielded  and  for  smelting  it  were  clandes- 
tinely worked  some  miles  away.  Remains  of  these  old  furnaces  were  to  be  seen  for  nearly  a 
century  afterwards.  Necessity,  however,  forced  the  abandonment  of  the  effort." — Phelps1 

The  Higley-mine  was  worked  in  1831  under  the  superintendency  of  Richard  Bacon.  "Owing 
to  difficulties,"  says  Phelps,  "  in  the  process  of  smelting  and  refining  the  ore,  and  the  pecuniary 
embarrassment  of  the  times,  the  works  were  discontinued."  For  the  last  half  century  copper  can 
be  procured  at  cheaper  rates  from  Lake  Superior  and  other  points. 

a  During  the  proprietary  government  of  North  Carolina  a  medal  was  in  existence  which  may 
have  had  a  moneyed  value  as  a  coin.  "  In  the  year  1694  a  copper  piece  was  struck,  it  is  said  by 
Rollers,  a  celebrated  medalist  of  that  day,  for  circulation  in  Carolina.  It  bears  the  figure  of  an 
elephant  on  one  side,  and  on  the  other  the  inscription,  '  God  preserve  Carolina  and  the  Lords 
Proprietors,  1694.' "  It  is  noticed  in  English  publications  and  in  Frank  Leslie's  Family 

8  To  designate  this  coin  as  the  Granby  Copper  is  entirely  erroneous  ;  the  name  "  Granby  "  not 
then  being  known  in  that  section  of  Simsbury.  The  town  Granby  was  not  established  till  1786, 
fifty  years  after  the  Higley  coppers  were  manufactured. 


SAMUEL  HIGLEY,    \ST.  127 

which  were  made  from  the  ore  in  his  own  mine,  is  impossible  to 
ascertain.  It  was  undoubtedly  between  the  year  1729  and  the 
first  half  of  the  year  1737.  The  oldest  specimens  preserved, 
which  bear  date,  were  coined  in  1737.  There  were  five  different 
issues  of  three  similar  devices,  three  of  which  bear  no  date  and 
were  probably  made  prior  to  that  year.  They  are  described  in 
the  "Visitor's  Guide  and  History  of  the  U.  S.  Mint,"1  at  Phila- 
delphia, as  follows: 

"  Their  Obverses  are  similar: — A  deer  standing:  below  him  a 
hand,  a  star,  and  III;  around  him  is  the  legend  inclosed  in  two 
circles —  Value  me  as  you  please. 

"The  Reverse  of  one  variety  has  three  hammers  crowned,  and 
the  legend — /  am  Good  Copper,  a  hand,  some  dots  fancifully 
arranged,  and  1737. 

"  The  third  variety  has  a  broad-axe  and  the  legend — /  cut  my 
way  through.  A  very  few  also  bear  date  1739." 

This  limited  coinage  was  precisely  like  the  coin  that  Dr.  Samuel 
Higley  produced  in  1737. 

Phelps,  in  his  "  History  of  Simsbury,"  states  that  "the  coin  is 
said  to  have  passed  for  two  and  sixpence  [42  cents],  in  paper  cur- 
rency it  is  presumed." 

It  is  more  than  probable  that  Dr.  Higley's  brother,  John 
Higley,  together  with  the  Rev.  Timothy  Woodbridge  and  William 
Cradock,8  made  the  issue  of  1739,  after  his  death. 

"The  trade  of  blacksmith, "says  Dickeson,  "  ever  since  Vulcan 
was  engaged  in  forging  thunderbolts,  has  given  the  world  some 
very  remarkable  men,  and  it  affords  great  pleasure  at  this  time  to 
be  able  to  contribute  toward  immortalizing  one  of  the  craft,  who 
not  only  devised,  but  manufactured  a  currency.  Dr.  Higley  the 
author  of  these  coppers  has  certainly  left  evidence  of  having  been 
an  artist  as  well  as  a  financier;  for  the  creatures  of  his  genius  and 

1  P.  65,  published  by  A.  M.  Smith,  1885. 

a  Cradock  was  probably  a  son  or  near  relative  of  William  Cradock  of  County  Durham,  England, 
who  issued  a  farthing  token  bearing  date  1666.  On  the  face  of  his  coin  is  a  device,  shield  of  arms, 
and  inscription,  "  William  Cradock  "  :  reverse,  "  1666  W.  C.  E."  Robert  Cradock  of  New  Fish 
Street,  London,  issued  a  farthing  token  in  the  seventeenth  century. 

The  writer  is  inclined  to  the  conclusion  that  there  was  an  ancestral  connection  between  an 
Edward  Highley  of  Baldock,  Hertfordshire,  England,  and  Captain  John  Higley  who  came  to 
America,  the  spelling  of  the  name  having  become  perverted.  As  the  Higleys  of  England  have  not 
been  traced  beyond  Jonathan  of  Frimley,  Surrey,  the  question  remains  unsettled.  Edward 
Highley  issued  a  little  "  token  "  in  the  seventeenth  century  :  Obverse  side  in  center,  "  E.  S.  H." 
Reverse,  "In  Boldeck  1652." 


skill  were,  for  the  times,  well  executed,  and  they  also  became  a 
currency." ' 

During  Dr.  Samuel  Higley's  day  "no  public  laws  had  been 
made  by  Connecticut  to  authorize  coinage  of  money,  or  to  specify 
its  value.  Specie  was  very  scarce  in  the  country,  and  the  coinage, 
at  this  embryo  mint  was  regarded  with  great  favor  by  residents 
in  the  vicinity.  The  foreign  trade  of  the  country,  which  was 
chiefly  confined  to  England,  was  principally  controlled  by  her; 
the  balance  of  trade  was  continually  against  us,  which  prevented 
the  importation  of  specie.  The  war  in  France  in  1745  turned  the 
tide  somewhat  in  our  favor,  and  considerable  quantities  of  the 
Higley  Copper  were  circulated  in  England  in  payment  of  war 
expenses."  a 

Though  the  coinage  of  the  Higley  copper  does  not  appear  to 
have  been  authorized  by  the  colony,  it  passed  as  a  medium  of 
exchange  into  a  considerable  circulation,  and  we  are  led  to  infer 
that  it  was  finally  recognized  by  the  colonial  authorities,  since 
they  certainly  took  no  action  toward  its  suppression,  though 
"  the  coinage  was  without  sanction  of  law." 

Without  question  this  financial  venture  proved  an  undertaking 
profitable  to  our  ancient  coiner,  and  useful  to  the  community, 
since  soon  after  his  death  there  were  leading  and  noted  citizens 
of  the  colony  who  made  effort  to  continue  a  copper  coinage,  and 
to  whom,  in  all  probability,  the  monetary  problem  was  suggested 
by  the  success  of  the  Higley  copper. 

In  October,  1739,  the  last  year  in  which  a  limited  issue  of  the 
Higley  coin  was  manufactured,  John  Read,  an  eminent  lawyer  of 
Hartford,  and  brother-in-law  of  Governor  Joseph  Talcott,  made 
application  to  the  General  Assembly  for  aid  to  secure  the  right 
of  coinage  from  the  Royal  Government;  and  also  addressed  a 
personal  letter  to  the  Governor  on  coinage  and  currency,  in  which 
he  urges  what  he  judges  to  be  of  great  importance  to  Connecti- 
cut, namely:  "to  procure  the  King's  patent  for  the  coinage  of 
copper  money  from  the  metal  produced  from  the  native  ores  of 
the  State."3 

He  offers  to  proceed  with  the  manufacture  of  the  same  at  his 
own  personal  expense  and  "such  as  I  shall  join  with  me,  if  any 

1  "  American  Numismatical  Manual,"  by  M.  W.  Dickeson,  M.  D.,  p.  80. 

8  Phelps'  "  History  of  Newgate  of  Connecticut,"  p.  21. 

*  This  petition,  dating  October  15,  1739,  and  the  original  letter  written  by  Read  referring 
thereto,  is  preserved  in  the  Connecticut  Archives  at  Hartford.  Through  the  kindness  of  C. 
J.  Hoadly,  Slate  Librarian,  the  writer  has  examined  the  documents. 

SAMUEL  HIGLEY,    1ST.  129 

body  do  join  with  me,"  and  to  bear  the  entire  losses  as  well  as  to 
receive  the  entire  profits  accruing  from  the  enterprise. 

Crosby  says,  "There  is  no  doubt  but  John  Higley1  was  con- 
nected with  Read  in  this  attempt  to  secure  the  right  of  coinage, 
and  was  one  of  those  to  whom  Read  referred  as  '  Such  as  I  shall 
associate  with  me.'  "  a 

In  Mr.  Read's  effort  to  induce  the  General  Assembly  to  con- 
sider his  petition,  he  intimates  that  Timothy  Woodbridge  of 
Simsbury,  the  early  and  close  friend  of  Dr.  Samuel  Higley,  as 
well  as  "  Cradock,"  was  associated  in  some  way  in  the  inter- 
ests of  the  proposed  undertaking. 

It  is,  nevertheless,  evident  that  Governor  Talcott  and  the 
Assembly  deemed  it  unwise  to  apply  to  the  Crown  for  a  patent, 
expecting  that  no  favors  would  be  granted. 

Specimens  of  the  Higley  copper  coin  have  become  very  rare. 
There  are  some  to  be  found  in  the  United  States  Mint  at  Phila- 
delphia, from  which  the  engraving  presented  was  photographed; 
and  in  the  collection  of  the  Connecticut  Historical  Society  at 
Hartford,  together  with  a  few  in  private  cabinets  in  the  country. 
Among  the  owners  of  one  of  these  valuable  relics  is  Albert 
C.  Bates,  Esq.,  of  East  Granby,  Conn.,  one  of  Captain  John 
Higley's  descendants. 

For  more  than  threescore  years  Dr.  Samuel  Higley's  only 
grandson,  Jonathan  Higley,  3d,  preserved  with  strictest  care 
specimens  which  finally  descended  to  his  great-grandson  Thomp- 
son Higley,  Sr.,  of  Windsor,  O.,  who  held  them  among  his 
choice  treasures  to  a  period  later  than  the  year  1860.  Two  of 
these  coins  were  associated  with  singular  but  sacred  memories  as 
having  been  placed  upon  the  eyes  of  Dr.  Samuel's  great-grand- 
daughter, Rachel  Higley  of  Granby,  after  her  death,  for  the  pur- 
pose of  keeping  them  closed.  It  was  a  custom  in  those  times  to 
use  coins  thus. 

Crosby  states  in  his  "  Early  Coins  of  America"9  that  "these 
coppers,  owing  to  the  fine  quality  of  the  metal  of  which  they  were 
composed,  were  much  in  favor  as  an  alloy  for  gold,  and  it  is  prob- 
ably due  in  part  to  this  cause  that  they  are  now  so  extremely 
rare.  We  are  informed  by  an  old  goldsmith,  aged  about  seventy- 
five  years,  that,  during  his  apprenticeship,  his  master  excused 

1  Dr.  Samuel  Higley's  eldest  brother. 

'  "  The  Early  Coins  of  America,"  by  Sylvester  S.  Crosby. 


himself  for  not  having  finished  a  string  of  gold  beads  at  the  time 
appointed,  as  he  was  unable  to  find  a  Higley  copper  with  which  to 
alloy  the  gold;  thus  indicating  that  they  were  not  easily  obtained 
seventy  years  ago. 

"  We  have  heard  it  related  of  Higley  that,  being  a  frequent  visit- 
ant to  the  tavern,  where  at  that  time  liquors  were  a  common  and 
unprohibited  article  of  traffic,  he  was  accustomed  to  pay  his 
'  scot '  in  his  own  coin,  and  the  coffers  of  the  dram-seller  soon 
became  overburdened  with  this  kind  of  cash,  of  the  type  which 
proclaims  its  own  value  to  be  equal  to  what  was  then  the  price  of 
a  'potation' — three  pence. 

"When  complaint  was  made  to  Higley,  upon  his  next  application 
for  entertainment,  which  was  after  a  somewhat  longer  absence 
than  was  usual  with  him,  he  presented  coppers  bearing  the  words, 
'Value  me  as  you  please,'  '  I  am  good  copper.' 

"Whether  the  change  of  base  facilitated  the  financial  designs 
of  the  ancient  coiner,  or  not,  we  have  never  been  informed  : 
Sure  we  are,  however,  that  should  he  be  aware  of  the  immense 
appreciation  in  the  value  of  his  coppers  since  that  day,  it  would 
amply  reward  him  for  the  insulting  conduct  of  the  innkeeper. 

"  We  cannot  vouch  for  the  truth  of  this  '  legend,'  but  we  believe 
those  first  issued  bore  the  words,  '  The  value  of  three-pence,' ' 
and,  whatever  the  cause,  subsequent  issues  more  modestly  re- 
quested the  public  to  value  them  according  to  their  own  ideas  of 
propriety,  although  they  did  not  refrain  from  afterwards  pro- 
claiming their  own  merit." 

Of  the.  rare  specimens  now  extant  few  are  found  perfect,  having 
been  stamped  upon  unalloyed  copper.  They  are  valued  at 
present  (1894)  by  numismatists  at  forty-five  to  seventy-five  dol- 
lars each. 

During  the  years  1859-60  a  spicy  lawsuit  took  place  between 
two  citizens  of  Suffield,  Conn.,  Chauncy  Eno  Viets,  and  George 
Williston,  concerning  one  of  these  coins,  the  suit  being  entered 
"for  the  recovery  of  a  Higley  copper." 

In  tearing  down  an  old  house  in  the  village  a  Higley  copper 
was  discovered,  which  came  into  the  possession  of  George  Willis- 
ton,  as  he  claimed,  by  purchase  from  Mr.  Viets.  Viets,  however, 
claimed  that  it  was  only  a  neighborly  loan  to  Williston,  that  he 

1  The  writer  does  not  agree  with  Mr.  Crosby — we  find  no  evidence  that  the  copper  was  ever 
marked  with  a  moneyed  value. 

SAMUEL  HIGLEY,   1ST.  131 

might  enjoy  the  pleasure  of  showing  the  rare  specimen  to  some 

In  course  of  time  Mr.  Viets  sought  legal  action  to  get  posses- 
sion of  his  treasure.  The  case  came  before  Esquire  Thomas 
Cushman,  justice  of  the  peace.  "  Squire  "  Cushman  decided  that 
Williston  should  retain  the  copper,  paying  Mr.  Viets  the  value  at 
which  the  coins  were  then  held — fifty  dollars — and  costs  of  court. 
The  money  was  forthcoming,  and  Williston  gloried  in  the  triumph 
of  an  ownership  of  the  valuable  memento  of  the  past. 

The  energies  of  Dr.  Samuel  Higley's  life  to  its  close  were  in 
the  pursuit  of  his  special  calling, — that  of  the  practice  of  med- 
icine,— in  which  it  is  shown  by  the  record  that  he  continued, 
together  with  his  interests  in  connection  with  his  copper-mine, 
and  the  manufacture  of  the  Higley  copper. 

The  circumstances  of  his  death  are  not  made  clear  in  the  dim 
mist  of  the  long  past  except  through  tradition,  which,  however, 
is  fully  sustained  by  a  few  lines  penned  in  rhyme  by  his  grandson 
Jonathan  Higley,  3d.  His  son  Jonathan  at  the  time  of  his 
father's  decease  was  sixteen  years  of  age.  His  grandson 
Jonathan,  3d,  would,  therefore,  have  ample  opportunity  to  gather 
correct  and  reliable  knowledge  of  his  grandfather's  death. 

Through  this  source,  and  through  different  channels  in  the 
family,  this  tradition  comes — that  Dr.  Higley  sailed  for  England 
in  a  ship  laden  with  his  own  copper  ore,  which  was  lost  at  sea, — 
that  he  reached  a  "silent  haven"  not  expected  when  he  bade 
adieu  to  these  shores, — the  voyage  ending  where  it  was  not 
expected  to  end — 

"  Through  the  evening  gate 
That  shuts  the  golden  west." 

The  sad  event  took  place  about  May,  1737.  There  is  a  pathetic 
interest  in  the  remarkable  coincidence  that  his  only  son  also 
met  his  death  by  drowning  at  precisely  the  same  age  that  his 
father  met  his — fifty  years. 

Dr.  Samuel  Higley's  will,  which  was  executed  on  the  30th  of 
January,  1734,  names  his  "loving  wife  Abigail  Higley"  the 
executrix  of  his  estate.  The  record  of  the  Court l  concerning 
it  is  as  follows: 

"  June  7th  1737 — The  LAST  WILL  &  TRSTAMKNT  OF  SAMUKL  HIGLEY  late  of  Symsbury 
Deed,  was  now  Exhibited  in  Court  by  Abigail  Higley  Widow  &  Rellict  of  Sd.  Deed.  (Executrix 
Named  in  Sd.  Will)  who  accepted  the  Trust  thereof  in  Court,  Sd.  Will  being  proved  is  by  this 

1 "  Hartford  County  Probate  Records,"  vol.  xiii. 


Court  approved  Likewise  the  Sd.  Executrix  Exhibited  nn  Inventory  of  the  Estate  of  the  Sd.  Deed 
upon  oath  in  Manner  accostomed  which  Inventory  &  will  is  accepted  in  Court  &  ordered  to  be 
Recorded  and  kept  upon  file. 

"  I  Samuel  Higley  of  Symsbury  in  the  County  of  Hartford  &  State  of  Connecticut  in  New  Eng- 
land being  of  perfect  health  mind  &  memory  yet  knowing  it  is  appointed  for  all  men  once  to  Die, 
I  do  therefore  make  &  ordain  this  my  last  Will  and  Testament  Recommending  my  Soul  at  Death  to 
God  that  Gave  it,  and  my  Body  to  a  Decent  buriall  hoping  to  See  a  Glorious  Resurrection  by  Gods 
power  and  the  Worldly  Goods  &  Estate  which  I  am  blest  with  in  this  Life,  I  thus  Do  give  Bequeath 
and  Dispose  of  it,  after  my  just  Debts  &  Dues  are  paid 

"  Imprimis  I  give  &  Bequeath  to  my  Loving  Wife  Abigail  Higley  all  my  moveable  Estate  to  her 
Dispose  forever  (Excepting  my  Books  my  Chymical  Tools  &  white  faced  heifer  which  I  Shall  give 
to  my  Children)  I  also  give  her  the  Improvement  of  all  my  lands  and  mines  if  she  Continueth  my 
Widow  until  my  Son  Jonathan  Comes  to  the  age  of  Twenty-one,  and  to  have  the  Improvement  of 
one  half  until  my  Daughter  Ann  Comes  to  the  age  of  Sixteen  and  from  that  time  to  have  the  Im- 

Erovement  of  one  Third  of  three  quarters,  and  that  quarter  that  Abigail  may  Challange,  until 
aid  Abigail  comes  to  the  age  of  Sixteen,  from  thence  to  have  the  Improvement  of  the  one  third 
part  of  my  whole  Estate  During  her  Natural  Life,  but  in  Case  she  marrieth,  I  also  give  her 
full  power  So  long  as  She  remaineth  my  Widow  to  Sell  any  of  my  Lands  or  rights  or  Titles  To 
lands  Excepting  my  marsh  and  Ten  acres  adjoining  to  support  herself  &  family  of  my  Children 
and  to  pay  Debts — Item  I  give  unto  my  Son  Jonathan  Higley  half  my  Books,  and  all  my 
Chymicall  Tools,  I  also  give  him  the  one  half  of  my  marsh  and  the  one  half  of  the  Ten  Acres 
adjoining  on  the  Westward  Side,  with  the  one  half  of  all  the  mines  thereon  Contained,  to 
him  &  his  heirs  &  assigns  forever — And  provided  he  will  pay  to  his  two  Sisters  Ann 
Higley  &  Abigail  Higley  two  hundred  &  fifty  pounds  to  Each  ;  That  Is  To  Say  fifty 
pound's  money  to  Each  of  them  When  they  or  either  of  them  arrive  to  the  age  of  Sixteen  &  one 
hundred  pounds  to  each,  at  the  age  of  Eighteen,  and  one  hundred  pounds  money  to  Each  at  the 
age  of  Twenty  one.  that  then  the  whole  Shall  be  his  or  if  he  fulfill  this  order  To  one  then  her  part  of 
Said  premises  Shall  be  his  own— But  in  Case  he  doth  not  pay  them  at  the  time  above-said, 
that  then  my  Said  Daughters,  Ann  Higley  <£  Abigail  Higley  may  Enter  in  at  the  age  of  Sixteen — 
yet  Notwithstanding  if  the  Said  Jonathan  Will  at  the  age  of  Twenty  one  years  of  my  Daughters  pay 
the  whole  Sum  of  Two  hundred  &  fifty  pounds  with  Lawfull  Interest  besides  theire  Improvements 
that  then  the  primises  Shall  be  his.  I  also  give  my  Sd.  Son  Jonathan  Higley  one  half  part  of 
all  my  other  Lands  Rights  titles  and  Interest  that  I  now  have  or  may  have  to  him  his  heirs  & 
assigns  forever — Item  I  give  and  Bequeath  to  my  Daughter  Ann  Higley  the  one  quarter  part 
of  my  marsh  &  Ten  acres  of  upland  adjoining,  and  one  Quarter  of  all  the  mines  therein  Contained 
Excepting  her  Brother  pay  her  two  hundred  &  fifty  pounds  in  Money  at  the  Times  Above  Men- 
tioned Viz  fifty  pounds  at  or  when  She  Comes  to  the  age  of  Sixteen  Years,  and  one  hundred  pounds 
money  when  She  is  of  the  age  of  Eighteen  and  one  hundred  pounds  in  money  when  she  is  of  the 
age  of  twenty  one  years,  or  the  whole  two  hundred  &  fifty  pounds  being  paid  by  Sd.  Jonathan  with 
Lawfull  Interest,  when  &  So  Soon  as  the  Sd.  Ann  Comes  to  the  age  of  Twenty  one,  she  having 
free  Liberty  to  Enter  &  Improve  at  16  years  of  age,  until  he  Doth  pay  but  in  Case  he  Doth  not 
pay  at  the  Time  or  times  &  manner  above  Sd.  then  the  Sd.  Ann  Shall  have&  hold  Said  fourth  part 
to  her  &  her  heirs  for  Ever,  but  when  ever  she  Inclineth  to  sell,  to  Give  her  Sd.  Brother  the 
Refusall  thereof,  I  also  Give  her  one  fourth  part  of  my  Books,  &  one  fourth  part  of  my  other 
Lands  Rights  &  Interests  and  also  a  cow  or  heifer — being  brown  with  a  white  face — Item  I  also 
give  &  bequeath  to  my  Daughter  Abigail  Higley  in  Like  manner  as  to  her  Sister  Ann,  Two  hundred 
and  fifty  pounds  in  money  to  be  paid  by  her  brother  Jonathan  in  the  Like  manner  as  above  said 
Viz  fifty  pounds  money  when  She  is  Sixteen  years  alike,  one  hundred  pounds  money  at  or  when 
She  is  Eighteen  years  of  age,  and  one  hundred  pounds  when  She  is  twenty  one  years  of  age  and 
on  neglect  of  payment  as  above  or  with  Lawfull  Interest  at  the  last  time  mentioned,  then  She  Shall 
&  may  Enter  into  the  Marsh  &  ten  acres  of  upland  &  mines  therein  and  use  &  Improve  the  fourth 
part  thereof  and  after  she  hath  arrived  unto  the  years  of  Twenty  one,  and  the  payment  Last  men- 
tioned not  made  then  she  Shall  hold  the  Said  premises  to  her  &  her  heirs  for  Ever  ;  but  if  She  Sell 
to  Give  her  Brother  the  Refusall — I  also  give  her  the  fourth  part  of  all  my  other  Lands  Rights  & 
Titles,  with  the  fourth  part  of  my  Books  and  a  Chest  of  Drawers  worth  five  pounds— And  I  do 
hereby  make  ordain  Constitute  and  appoint  my  loving  Wife  Abigail  Higley  to  be  my  Executrix  to 
this  my  last  Will  &  Testament  fully  Impowenng  her  to  Sell  any  of  my  lands  Except  the  marsh  & 
Ten  acres  of  upland  adjoining,  for  to  pay  Debts  or  Support  herself  and  my  Children  so  long  as  she 
Doth  Continue  my  Widow,  but  not  after — In  Witness  where  of  I  have  hereunto  Set  my  hand  and 
fixed  my  seal  this  Thirtieth  Day  of  January  one  Thousand  Seven  hundred  &  thirty  three  four, 
signed  sealed  published  pronounced  &  Declared  by  Said  Samuel  Higley  to  be  his  last  will  and 

"  In  presence  of  us 

"  SAMUEL  GRISWOLD  /  ~~>— •  , 

"ELIZABETH  GRISWOLD,  her  mark  X  "SAMUEL  HIGLEY  "     -j  SEAL.  > 

"  ELIZABETH  GRISWOLD,  junr.  '  — < — - 

"  Jan.  soth  1733/4." 

An  Inventory  of  the  Estate  of  Doctor  Samuel  Higley  Deceased  Taken  by  us  Subscribers  being 
under  oath  as  follows  £ 

One  Gun  Sword  &  powder  horn,     .  .  .  .  .  .          3       10      o 

Spoon  mould,  155  ;.  Smoothing  Iron,  35  ;  Gauge,  2S  ;  fine  plain  Irons,  6s;  Ginter  Stock 

&  Iron,  3,  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .190 

handsaw,  55  ;  Gimblets,  8d  ;  ads,  IDS  ;  3  Chisels,  45  ;    2  Creasing  Irons,  is.      .  .108 

Cart-band,  2-6 ;  betle   rings,   is  ;  a  pair  of  nipers,  j^d  ;   i   Trowel,  IDS  ;    Chimney 

Chain,  35,  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  o       17      9 

a  pair  Tongs,  45  ;    frying  pan,  35 ;   Sythe   &  Tackling,  IDS  ;   old  pot,  6s  ;  broken 

pot,  35,       .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .160 

quart  cups,  45  ;  bulg  quart  pot,  6s  ;  pint  bason,  8d  ;   quart  bason,  35  ;   old  puter  is-3d,        o      15      9 

SAMUEL  HIGLEY,    1ST.  133 

puter  platter,  75  ;   brass  kittle,   125  ;   Earthern  pot,   2S-6d  ;   Earthern  platter,  as  ; 

hour  glass,  i8d      .  .  .  .  .  .  .  ..  .140 

3  Small  bottles,  i8d ;  Cups,  as ;   Stone  Jug,  i8d  ;   2  white  viols,  25  ;    12  viols,  45  ;  2 

chairs,  55,  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .0160 

8  Square  Glasses  &  Case  ilb,  jos  ;  Testament,  2S  ;   psalm  book  &  psalter,  35  ;    three 

glass  Stils  ilb  ;  i  bible  ilb,  IDS  .  .  •  .  .  .456 

quart  glass,    10 ;  Boneridg  Book  35  ;    Eaten  Book,  25  :   prayer  book,  is  ;   2  small 

book,  is,  .  .  .  .    _    _   .  .  .  .  .  .080 

vise    book,   2S ;    prayer  book,  is  ;    Great    Dictionary,   3~o-6d  ;   Sermon  book,    i8d  ; 
Pharmocopia  batema,    i7S-6d  ;    family   Dictionary,    IDS  ;     Waldon's    Book,    is ; 
Polegraffy  book,  55  ;    i  Letter  Book,  ips  ;   morphews  Book,  35  ;  Anonmies  Book, 
35  ;   Sacuties  Book,  6s  ;  Book  of  principles,  zs,          .  .  .  .  .626 

English    Dictionary,   8s  ;  Billery    precepts,    33 ;    Concordance,   ilb  ;  accidents,   33  ; 
Peter  Loo  Book,  55  ;  Great  Lain  Book,  los ;  two  Sermon  book,  is  ;  2  German 
Book,  i8d ;  8  Small  books,  i6s,  .  .  .  .  .  .  -376 

Great  wheel  45  ;    Little,   2S  ;   meat  barrel,   45 ;    one  barrel,  33  ;  3  bowls,  4s-6d  ;  i 

small  bowl,  is,  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .        o      16      6 

6  Trenchers,  is  ;  wooden  mortar,  35  ;  wooden  Bottle,  25 ;  i  bell,  75  ;  Gallon  bottle, 

35  :   paile,  is  ;   bellows,  61b  ;   Quadren,  25  ;  Scales  and  weights,  155,  .  .         7       14      o 

2  Rasars,   25 ;  two  ounces  borax,  135  ;  Chest  box  &  key,  los  ;  one  box,  55  ;   Little 

box,  is,      .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  i       ii      o 

Portemantle,    IDS  ;  great  beadstead,  6s  ;  blankets,  ilb,  8s  ;  three  other  blankets,  2lb 

155,  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .        4      19      o 

feather  bed  boalster  &  pillows,  4lb  ;  small  bed,  ilb;  three  sheets,  ilb  135  ;  Mat,  IDS; 
Corned  Cestuk,  i8d  ;  old  Iron,  45  ;   Small  Saw,  i8d  ;  Saw  frame,  2S-6d  ;   bit  of 
Steel,  6d  ;  compass,  75  ;  piece  of  brass,  is,         .  .  .  .  .  .806 

meal  sieve,  2S  ;   two  Cows,  islb  ;   i  Calf,  one  Sow,  a  horse,  4lb  ;  one  Swine,  ilb  55  ;  4 

Swine.  2lb  55  ;  3  Spoons,  2S  ;  4  knives  &  forks,  2S  ;   Saddle  &  furniture,  2lb  ;       .         q       14      o 
house  and  Ten  acres  upland  &  30  acres  marsh  all  .....     105        o      o 

14  acres  Land  Turkey  hills,  42  Ib  ;  20  acres  Land  at  the  old  house,  30  Ib,        .  72        o      o 

a  piece  of  land  on  the  mountain  by  mitchels  land,  .  .  .  .  .       15        o      o 

40  acres  pine  plain,  2olb  ;   10  acres  Swamp  land,  15  Ib,  .  .  .  35        o      o 

Dated  at  Symsbury  June  4th  1737 




Dr.  Samuel  Higley's  widow,  Abigail  Higley,  proceeded  to 
settle  his  estate,  in  connection  with  which  frequent  transactions 
are  upon  record  after  the  date  when  her  son  came  of  age. 

On  the  Qth  of  April,  1743,  conveyance  was  made  to  Captain 
Joseph  Higley  of  thirty-nine  acres  of  land  which  Samuel  had  re- 
ceived at  the  distribution  of  his  father,  Captain  John  Higley's, 
estate.  This  land  is  described  as  lying  "  to  the  westward  of 
Brewster  Higley  ad's  dwelling-house,  upon  a  brook  called 

The  final  distribution  of  the  estate  was  entered  as  follows1: 

"June  22,  1745  :  The  Distribution  of  the  Estate  of  Dr.  Samuel 
Higley,  late  of  Simsbury,  deed,  was  brought  into  Court  and  ap- 

Abigail  Higley  outlived  her  husband  nine  years.  Her  death  is 
thus  announced : 

"Abigail  Higley,  widow  of  Samuel  Higley,  Departed  this  life,  August  5,  1746." 

The  children  of  Samuel  and  Abigail  Higley  all  survived  their 
parents,  and  lived  in  Simsbury. 

1  "  Hartford  County  Probate  Records,"  book  xiv.  p.  60. 


Jonathan,  the  eldest  and  only  son,  married  Mary  Thompson,  a 
daughter  of  the  Rev.  Edward  Thompson,  who  was  the  minister 
of  old  Simsbury  parish. 

Annie,  the  second  child,  married,  but  the  name  of  her  husband 
is  not  known. 

Abigail,  Jr.,  the  youngest  child,  while  yet  in  her  teens  married 
Samuel  Smith  of  Simsbury.  Her  name  becoming  merged  into 
the  great  "Smith  family"  of  this  country,  all  trace  of  her  de- 
scendants is  lost.  Samuel  and  Abigail  Higley  Smith  sold  to  Cap- 
tain Joseph  Higley,  October  24,  1752,  lands  "received  from  our 
honored  father,  Samuel  Higley." 

The  descendants  of  Dr.  Samuel  Higley  continued,  chapter  Ix. 



Oh,  Time 

Works  miracles.     In  one  short  hour  many  thousands 
Of  grains  of  sand  run  out. 


MINDWELL,  the  ninth  child  of  Captain  John  and  Hannah  Drake 
Higley,  first  drew  her  breath  in  the  home  of  her  father — the 
"  Wolcott  mansion,"  at  Simsbury.  The  exact  year  of  her  birth  is 
doubtful,  the  record  having  been  lost.  It  was,  however,  about 
1689.  She  was  given  the  name  of  her  aunt  Mindwell  Drake,  who 
was  born  the  day  after  the  wedding  of  her  sister — Mindwell's 
mother — to  Captain  John  Higley. 

She  married,  September  2,  1714,  Jonathan  Hutchinson,  the  week 
following  her  father's  decease  and  burial.  His  father  was  of  a 
numerous  and  prominent  family  of  Lebanon,  Conn.,  the  members 
of  which  were  among  the  original  founders  of  the  town.  Mind- 
well's  married  life  was  cut  short  by  the  early  death  of  her  hus- 
band three  years  after  their  union,  September  10,  1717.  They 
had  two  daughters  :  Hannah,  born  May  23,  1715,  who  died  at  the 
age  of  ten  years,  May  26,  1725  ;  and  a  babe — born  September  13, 
1717,  three  days  after  Mr.  Hutchinson's  decease — who  bore  her 
own  name.  The  infant  lived  but  one  month. 

It  was  during  the  widowhood  of  Mindwell  Higley  Hutchinson 
that  the  final  settlement  of  her  father's  estate  took  place.  Re- 
ceipts and  papers  in  reference  to  her  share  are  still  extant,  bear- 
ing her  signature.  She  remained  a  widow  until  the  ad  of 
February,  1727,  when  she  married  James  Tisdale  of  Lebanon, 
who,  it  is  supposed,  was  a  widower.  There  are  no  children  of 
this  marriage  recorded.  In  three  brief  months  she  buried  her 
second  husband,  whose  death  took  place  May  2,  1727. 



The  quaint  inscription  upon  his  tombstone  in  the  old  Lebanon 
cemetery  reads  thus  : 

1bere  Iges  tbe  JBoog  of 
/for  Sanies  Gisoale  of  Lebanon 
£be  busbano  of  /fora  /fotnowell 
Gis&ale.   f)e  ogeO  /Bbag  3  1727 

aaeD  48  gears, 
fjere  Iges  our  faitbful  Xovetng  ff rienfc 

B  fjusbano  &  a  ffatber  fdno 
"CClbo  batb  restno  himself  to  <3oo 
Bno  left  bis  wife  &  babes  bebino. 

On  theiyth  of  September,  1729,  she  became  the  wife  of  Captain 
Nathaniel  Fitch,  a  gentleman  of  prominent  position,  and  the  fifth 
of  the  seven  sons  of  the  eminent  Rev.  James  Fitch,  the  first 
minister  of  Norwich,  Conn.,  by  his  second  wife,  Priscilla  Mason, 
daughter  of  Major  John  Mason.  The  Fitches  were  leaders  in 
founding  the  commonwealth,  and  were  a  highly  influential  family. 

Captain  Nathaniel  Fitch  received  a  commission  as  captain  of 
the  military  in  1719,  and  was  deputy  to  the  General  Assembly 
for  Lebanon,  May,  1720.  He  was  commissioned  captain  of  the 
"South  Company,"  May,  1726.  Captain  Fitch  was  born  1680, 
and  was  a  widower,  with  several  children,  at  the  time  of  his  mar- 
riage to  Mindwell  Higley.  Their  home  was  on  a  farm  near  the 
town  of  Lebanon. 

They  had  three  children,  viz. : 

Jabez,  born  October  4,  1730,  and  died  November  14,  1736. 

Ezekiel,  born  March  n,  1732; 

Isaac,  born  May  20,  1734. 

The  date  of  Mindwell's  decease  has  not  been  found. 

Her  husband,  Captain  Fitch,  died  May  4,  1759,  at  the  age  of 
seventy-nine  years.  He  was  interred  in  the  Lebanon  cemetery, 
near  the  grave  of  his  father,  the  Rev.  James  Fitch.  A  tombstone 
marks  his  resting  place. 

Mindwell  Higley  Tisdale  Fitch's  descendants  have  not  been  traced  for  these  pages. 



There  was  only  one  thing  dearer  to  the  New  Englander  than  his  township — his  home. — E. 

THE  tenth  child  of  Captain  John  Higley,  a  daughter  Sarah, 
was  born  at  Simsbury  during  the  time  when  the  family  fortune 
was  at  its  height,  and  her  father  had  attained  much  celebrity  in 
public  life.  Her  mother  was  his  second  wife  Sarah  Strong,  the 
granddaughter  of  the  Rev.  John  Wareham.  Sarah  was  the  first 
child  by  her  father's  second  marriage. 

The  date  of  her  birth  may  be  fixed  almost  to  a  certainty  in  1697, 
although  the  precise  time  is  unknown. 

On  the  24th  of  December,  1723,  she  married  Jonathan  Loomis 
of  Windsor,  Conn.,  to  which  town  her  mother  returned  with  her 
family  in  a  few  years  after  the  father's  death.  Jonathan  Loomis 
was  born  February  i,  1694.  His  father,  Jonathan  Loomis,  Sr., 
was  a  grandson  of  Joseph  Loomis,  who  settled  in  Windsor  in 
1639,  coming  to  America  from  Braintree,  Essex,  England,  in  the 
ship  Susan  and  Ellen,  1638.  He  was  the  ancestor  of  most  of  the 
numerous  family  bearing  the  name  in  this  country. 

Jonathan  and  Sarah  Higley  Loomis  resided  at  Windsor.  They 
had  seven  children,  viz. : 

Sarah,  born  July  23,  1724,  and  died  December  n,  1733. 

Jonathan,  born  November  14,  1725,  who  died  when  near  five 
years  of  age. 

George,  born  November  22,  1727. 

Keziah,  born  June  18,  1729. 

Margaret,  born  March  15,  1730. 

Wait,  born  August  14,  1732. 

Jonathan,  born  June  16,  1734. 

Their  son  George,  a  promising  young  man,  was  graduated  from 
Yale  College  in  1750;  but  death  claimed  him  the  following  year, 
1751,  leaving  his  parents  bereft  of  sons,  and,  as  far  as  is  known, 
with  but  two  living  children,  both  daughters.  Keziah,  the  elder 
of  the  two,  married  her  cousin  Joseph  Loomis  of  Windsor,  and 


became  the  mother  of  six  children.  One  of  her  sons,  Jonathan, 
was  a  Revolutionary  soldier. 

Margaret,  the  second  daughter,  married  John  Warner,  Decem- 
ber 25,  1754.* 

It  is  supposed  that  the  two  youngest  children,  Wait  and 
Jonathan,  died  in  childhood. 

Previous  to  her  marriage  Sarah  Higley  purchased  of  her 
brothers,  John,  Brewster,  and  Samuel,  and  her  sister-in-law  Ann 
Higley,  the  wife  of  her  late  brother  Jonathan,  lands  in  Windsor, 
"lying  at  a  place  called  Clay  Bridge,"  which  was  a  part  of  the  estate 
that  they  received  by  inheritance  from  their  mother,  Hannah 
Drake;  the  consideration  being  "the  sum  of  ^30  in  money." 
The  deed  was  given  August  31,  1722. 

And  later  on,  about  the  time  of  her  marriage,  she,  with  her 
sisters  Katherine,  Mindwell,  and  Abigail,  sold  to  John  Higley,  Jr., 
her  eldest  brother,  her  share  in  the  lands  at  Simsbury  inherited 
from  her  father's  estate. 

Jonathan  Loomis  and  "  Sary  "  repeatedly  had  their  income  in- 
creased by  "bills  of  credit"  from  the  personal  estate  of  Captain 
Higley,  which  were  charged  by  the  executors  to  their  account, 
and  moneys  were  paid  to  them  in  different  amounts  from  time  to 
time,  for  which  their  receipts  are  shown. 

It  would  appear  that  each  of  Captain  Higley's  daughters 
received  special  articles,  as  mementoes  of  the  old  home,  set  apart 
from  the  household  goods.  " Sary "  received  an  "iron  kittoll," 
which  may  have  been  made  from  the  bog  ore  found  a  few  miles 
away  in  Turkey-Hills,  and  "two  porringers  and  saucers,"  one  of 
them  being  "  pewtar."  The  most  valuable  table-ware  in  the  New 
England  homes  of  that  day  was  of  this  metal,  and  was  imported. 

The  inventory  of  her  mother's  estate — Mrs.  Sarah  Higley's — 
was  presented  in  Court  jointly  by  "Jonathan  and  Sarah  Loomis, 
December  1739." 

The  dates  of  their  deaths  are  unknown,  and  their  graves  cannot 
be  discovered  ; 

"  For  the  grassy  hillocks  are  leveled  again, 

And  the  keenest  eye  might  search  in  vain 
'Mong  briars  and  ferns,  and  paths  of  sheep, 
For  the  spot  where  the  loving  couple  sleep." 

The  reader  is  referred  to  the  "  Loomis  Genealogies  "  for  descendants. 
1  "  Loomis  Genealogies." 



Faith  in  God,  faith  in  man,  faith  in  work ;  this  is  the  short  formula  in  which  we  may  sum  up  the 
teaching  of  the  founders  of  New  England  ;  a  creed  ample  enough  for  this  life  and  the  next. — 

THE  life  of  Nathaniel  Higley  is  a  quiet  one  for  the  chronicler. 
He  was  the  eleventh  child  in  the  large  family  of  Captain  John 
Higley,  whose  second  wife,  Sarah  Strong,  was  his  mother.  He 
was  a  well-to-do  farmer,  possessed  of  considerable  ability  and  a 
comfortable  property. 

Nathaniel's  birth  took  place  at  Simsbury  close  on  to  the 
departure  of  the  century,  November  12,  1699.  He  was  a  boy  of 
fifteen  at  the  time  of  his  father's  death.  On  the  eighth  of  the 
following  February  (1715)  he  went  into  the  Probate  Court  and 
made  choice  of  his  uncle  Samuel  Strong  to  be  his  guardian. 
At  the  age  of  twenty-one  his  marriage  was  placed  upon  record  as 
follows  : 

"Nathaniel  Higley  of  Simsbury  and  Abigail  filler  of  Windsor  were  maried  the 
twenty-ninth  day  of  march,  1720." 

The  young  pair  were  second  cousins,  both  of  them  being  the 
great-grandchildren  of  Elder  John  Strong  of  Northampton,  Mass. 
Nathaniel's  grandfather  on  the  maternal  side  was  Return  Strong, 
and  Abigail's  maternal  grandmother  was  Experience  Strong,1  his 

Nathaniel  and  Abigail  Higley  settled  upon  lands  which  Nathaniel 
owned  in  the  northern  part  of  Simsbury,  now  North  Granby, 

1  Lieutenant  Walter  Fyler  (sometimes  spelled  "  Filer ")  the  paternal  great-grandfather  of 
Abigail  Filer  Higley,  came  to  Windsor,  Conn.,  with  the  Rev.  John  Wareham,  1636,  from  Dorchester, 
Mass.  His  house  was  within  the  Palisadoes.  He  was  Deputy  to  the  General  Assembly  in  1647. 
He  died  1683.  In  his  will  he  gave  the  use  of  his  estate  to  his  widow  Jane  during  her  natural  life, 
"  Also  one  hundred  pounds  in  cash  to  bestow  upon  another  husband,  or  reserve  it  to  herself  to 
bestow  upon  whom  she  may  please."  His  son  Zerubbabel  married  Experience  Strong,  May  27, 
1669,  and  lived  for  a  time  at  Stone  River  (Suffield),  but  afterward  returned  to  Windsor.  While 
he  was  a  resident  of  Suffield  his  son  Samuel,  the  father  of  Abigail  Filer  Higley,  was  born.  Samuel 
was  a  fanner  at  Hebron,  Conn.,  where  he  died  September  13,  1710.  His  wife,  Abigail,  died  1709. 
Their  daughter,  Abigail  Filer  Higley,  the  wife  of  Nathaniel  Higley,  was  born  February  6,  1703. 

There  are  a  number  of  the  Higleys  now  living  whose  ancestry  is  traced  in  direct  line  to  their 
maternal  ancestress  Abigail  Filer. 


where  they  lived  long  and  useful  lives,  and  where  they  brought 
up  a  family. 

He  purchased  in  1726  from  his  younger  brother  Josiah  a 
parcel  of  land  adjoining  his  own  "house  lot,"  which  lay  to  the 
west  of  that  owned  by  his  brothers  John  and  Brewster.  His 
home  estate  comprised  ninety  acres  with  "ten  acres  on  ye 
plain  ";  and  together  with  the  other  inhabitants  of  the  settlement 
he  received,  January  2,  1723,  a  share  at  the  distribution  of 
common  lands  made  by  the  town.  He  is  named  among  the 
heirs  who  received  from  the  executors  an  inheritance  from 
Captain  Higley's  estate,  together  with  small  household  articles 
"  set  out  to  him,"  among  which  was  "  a  pair  of  stilyards." 

Nathaniel  Higley  was  by  profession  a  surveyor.  The  office  of 
town  surveyor  was  one  of  considerable  importance,  the  principal 
duties  being  "  the  measuring  of  land  and  getting  out  of  town  lots 
to  men."  In  town  affairs  he  was  intrusted  with  prominent  ap- 
pointments, and  appears  among  the  solid  men  of  his  generation, 
of  well-balanced  mind,  displaying  sound  judgment.  His  name 
is  found  upon  various  committees  of  the  Northwest  Ecclesiastical 
Society;  and  the  indications  are  that  he  was  more  actively  asso- 
ciated with  religious  matters  than  were  the  elder  children  of 
Captain  Higley.  For  the  year  1742  his  church  rates,  "for  de- 
fraying the  charges  of  the  society,"  amounted  to  £4  i6s.  4d. 
His  children  of  whom  we  have  trace  were  nearly  all  religious 

During  the  years  of  his  greatest  church  activities  the  practice 
of  the  admission  of  members  to  the  church  on  the  "  Half-way 
Covenant,"  so-called,  was  customary,  which  was  frequently  fol- 
lowed after  lapse  of  time  "  by  ye  owning  of  ye  covenant."  These 
half-way  covenanters  "were  not  permitted  to  come  to  the  table 
of  holy  communion. " 

It  was  in  June,  1753,  that  the  following  action  was  taken  by  the 
church  of  which  Nathaniel  by  this  time  appears  to  have  been  one 
of  the  chief  props  : 

"  Voted  that  Dr.  Watts  version  of  the  Psalms  shall  be  sung  in  our  public  assem- 
blies once  a  day  upon  ye  Sabboth." 

This  was  an  advanced  step  toward  liberality  in  church  affairs. 
Heretofore  the  singing,  for  the  period  of  a  century,  had 
been  from  a  quaint  "little  metrical  volume,"  known  as  "The 
New  England  version  of  the  Psalms,"  or  the  "Bay  Psalm-Book," 


the  first  edition  of  which  was  printed  about  1640.  A  later  version 
appeared  in  1650. 

"  The  necessity  of  the  heavenly  Ordinance  of  singing  Scripture 
Psalms  in  the  churches  of  God,"  was  fully  recognized. 

The  singing  was  accomplished  by  "  lining"  these  psalms,  which 
was  alternately  reading  one  or  two  lines  by  the  minister,  then 
the  congregation  singing  them,  followed  by  two  more  lines,  etc. 
Few  possessed  hymn-books.  Someone  stood  appointed  to  "set 
the  tunes,"  which  were  invariably  long-drawn  and  heavy.  The 
psalm  sung  was  usually  very  long,  and  the  people  stood  while 
singing,  as  well  as  during  prayer.1 

Among  other  town  officers  appointed  each  year  was  an  "In- 
spector of  Leather."  To  this  service  Nathaniel  Higley  was 
repeatedly  elected;  he  served  as  grand  juror,  was  appointed 
appraiser,  surveyor  of  highways,  fence  viewer,  rate  collector, 
and  often  served  as  tything-man.  Of  the  latter  office,  which 
long  ago  ceased  in  the  churches  of  New  England,  a  few  words 
here  will  be  of  interest. 

The  tything-man  was  a  town  officer,  who  was  annually  elected 
and  officially  sworn  into  office  to  enforce  the  observance  of  the 
Sabbath.  He  required  to  be  filled  with  zeal  and  vigilance,  and 
was  a  man  who  inspired  a  degree  of  fear  and  awe.  He  was  to 
see  to  it  that  "no  person  should  be  recreating  or  unnecessarily 
walking  or  loitering  on  the  Lord's  day."  His  duties  required 
him  to  look  after  the  absentees  from  church  service,  and  to  col- 
lect the  fine  of  ten  shillings  imposed  upon  those  who,  "being 
able-bodied  and  not  otherwise  necessarily  prevented,  should  for 
the  space  of  one  month  "  fail  to  appear  in  the  Sunday  congrega- 

But  his  most  conspicuous  duty  lay  in  preserving  the  sanctity 
of  divine  service.  Provided  with  a  long  pole,  and  a  whip-stock 
and  lash  in  hand,  he  stationed  himself  every  Sunday  in  the  rear 
of  the  audience  near  the  door,  and  with  vigilant  eye  and  dignified 

1  "At  family  prayers  it  was  the  costom  to  rise  to  theirfeet  and  stand  instead  of  kneeling."  The 
reason  given  for  taking  this  posture  was,  "  their  exceeding  fear  of  any  costom  that  might  be  con- 
strued as  tainting  of  Popery." 

*"As  the  President — [George  Washington],  on  his  return  to  New  York  from  his  late  tour 
through  Connecticut,  having  missed  his  way  on  Saturday,  was  obliged  to  ride  a  few  miles  on 
Sunday  morning  in  order  to  gain  the  town  at  which  he  had  previously  proposed  to  have  attended 
divine  service.  Before  he  arrived,  however,  he  was  met  by  a  Tything-man,  who  commanding  him 
to  stop,  demanded  the  occasion  of  his  riding  ;  and  it  was  not  until  the  President  had  informed  him 
of  every  circumstance,  and  promised  to  go  no  further  than  the  town  intended,  that  the  Tything- 
man  would  permit  him  to  proceed  on  his  journey." — From  an  old  newspaper  of  the  times: 
"  Olden  Time  Series." 


gravity  he  performed  his  calling  with  no  partisan  favor.  The 
giddy  youth  who  happened  to  whisper  to  his  chum,  or  who  un- 
fortunately was  unable  to  repress  his  overflowing  spirits,  com- 
mitting the  grave,  sin  of  a  smothered  snicker,  was  approached 
from  behind  and  sharply  rapped  upon  the  head  with  the  pole, 
which  was  aimed  with  great  precision  and  directness. 

Mrs.  Stowe  pictures  this  official  as  "  a  man  who  on  week  days, 
though  he  might  be  a  rather  jolly,  secular  individual,  on  Sunday 
was  a  man  whose  eyes  were  supposed  to  be  as  a  flame  of  fire  to 
search  out  boys  that  played  in  meeting,  and  bring  them  to  awful 
retribution."  * 

In  an  old  law  book  which  once  belonged  to  Nathaniel's 
nephew,  Governor  Jonathan  Trumbull,  Sr.,  was  found  in  manu- 
script at  the  end  of  the  volume,  "  Reports  of  Brother  Jonathan's 
adjudications  of  small  cases  which  he  tried  as  Justice  of  the 
peace."  Among  these  was  one  where  His  Majesty's  ty thing-man 
entered  a  complaint  against  Jona  and  Susan  Smith  for  a  "prof- 
anation of  the  Sabbath  ";  namely,  "that  on  the  —  day  of  —  dur- 
ing Divine  Service  on  the  Lord's  Day,  they  did  smile."  The  cul- 
prits were  adjudged  to  be  guilty  of  the  offence,  and  severally 
fined  "five  shillings  and  cost."" 

Eight  children  are  found  upon  record  as  having  been  born  to 
Nathaniel  and  Abigail  Filer  Higley;  yet  it  is  probable  there  were 
others.  They  were  as  follows:  Abigail,  born  November  i,  1723, 
married  Josiah  Holcombe,  November  8,  1742.  Mary,  born  1724, 
and  died  at  the  age  of  one  hundred  and  four  years.  She  never 

married.  Theopolis,  born  March  29,  1726;  married  Rhoda 

Solomon,  born  Januarys,  1728;  married  Lydia  Holcombe.  Dudley, 

born  1730;  married  Eunice .  Samuel,  born  about  1734;  not 

known  whether  he  married.  Daniel,  the  exact  date  of  whose 

birth  is  not  known,  married  Ruth  ;  and  Mindwell,  born 

about  1738,  who  married,  March  3,  1768,  Seth  Higley,  the  son  of 
her  first  cousin  Brewster  Higley,  2d.* 

Their  children  all  settled  in  the  vicinity  of  their  home  (the 
part  of  Simsbury  now  known  as  North  Granby),  and,  except 
Solomon,  here  remained  until  after  their  father's  decease,  and  till 
about  the  close  of  the  war  of  the  Revolution,  when  most  of  those 
who  were  then  living  emigrated  to  Vermont. 

1  "  Old  Town  Folks,"  by  Harriet  Beecher  Stowe,  p.  43. 
a  "  Olden  Time  Series,"  Henry  M.  Brooks. 

3  It  is  confidently  supposed  that  Noah  and  Nehemiah  Higley  were  also  sons  of  Nathaniel.     See 
chapter  Ixvi. 


Nathaniel  Higley  died  of  cancer  in  September,  1773. 

His  son  Daniel  Higley  was  named  as  executor  of  his  estate. 

His  will,1  which  was  signed  on  the  i3th  of  February,  1773, 
devises  that  after  his  just  debts  are  paid  his  wife  Abigail  shall 
have  one  third  part  of  all  his  lands,  plowing,  mowing,  woods, 
and  pasturing,  with  all  the  household  goods,  during  her  natural 
life.  To  his  daughter  Mary  and  son  Daniel  he  gives  all*  of  his 
'Mean  and  freehold  estate,"  to  be  divided  equally  between  them. 
To  his  son  Solomon  he  gives  five  pounds  of  lawful  money,  and  to 
his  daughters,  Abigail  the  wife  of  Josiah  Holcombe,  and  Mind- 
well  the  wife  of  Seth  Higley,  the  sum  of  three  pounds  each.  To 
the  heirs  of  Dudley  Higley,  his  son,  he  gave  the  sum  of  ten  shil- 
lings, to  be  paid  eighteen  months  after  death.  One  of  his  sons 
— Samuel — to  whom  moneys  were  paid  at  the  distribution  of  the 
estate,  is  not  named  in  his  will.  The  inventory  of  his  personal 
estate,  taken  September  23,  1773,  contains  articles  of  clothing; 
among  which  were  a  "Great  Coat,"  valued  at  75.,  a  "  Strait  Bodied 
coat,"  i8s.,  "A  Green  Jaccoat,"  45.,  "2  pair  of  Linen  Breeches, 
is.  6d."  It  comprises  also  numerous  household  effects,  sheep, 
cattle,  and  other  belongings  of  a  well-managed  farm,  amounting 
in  all  to  ^"198  175.  od.*  It  cannot  be  clearly  understood  why  he 
gave  the  most  of  his  property  to  his  son  Daniel  and  daughter 
Mary,  almost  disinheriting  his  surviving  children  and  other  heirs. 
His  burial  place  is  not  known. 

Although  Nathaniel  Higley's  name  is  not  found  associated  with 
any  conspicuous  measure  in  the  colony,  when  he  passed  away 
from  life's  day  of  ceaseless  industry,  which  he  had  devoted  to  use- 
ful purposes,  the  event  marked  the  close  of  a  well-rounded  career. 
He  had  walked  in  a  straight  road,  rendering  acceptable  service  to 
the  community  in  which  he  lived.  He  was  respected  by  all  who 
knew  how  to  respect  integrity,  trustworthiness,  and  a  sound 
character.  Such  an  existence  does  not  fail  to  excite  a  glow  oi 
admiration.  "  He  fought  the  good  fight,  he  kept  the  faith." 

The  descendants  of  Nathaniel  Higley  -will  be  found  in  chapter  Ixvi. 

1  "Simsbury  Probate  Records,"  p.  141. 
4  Book  i.  p.  no,  "Simsbury  Records." 




We  honor  and  we  love  them — our  ancestry  of  old, 

Whose  virtues  rare  the  brighter  wear,  like  the  face  of  virgin  gold. 


THE  twelfth  interesting  advent  of  babyhood  in  the  household  of 
the  Higleys  at  Simsbury  was  on  a  summer  morning  late  in  the 
season,  when  twins  were  announced.  They  were  thus  recorded  : 

"JosiAH  HIGLEY,  the  son  of  Captain  John  Higley,  was  borne  the  eighth  day  of 
September,  and  Baptized  the  fourteenth  day  of  September,  seventeen  hundred  and 
one.  Borne  to  him  by  his  wife  Sarah." 

"JOSHUA  HIGLEY,  the  son  of  Captain  John  Higley,  was  borne  the  eighth  day  of 
September,  one  Thousand  seven  hundred  and  one,  which  his  wife  Sarah,  the 
Daughter  of  Return  Strong,  bare  to  him." 

The  last  named  child  "  dyed  "  an  infant  of  seven  months, 
April  2,  1702,  and  was  interred  in  the  churchyard  at  the  settle- 
ment at  "  Scotland" — now  Bloomfield,  Conn.  Josiah  lived  to  the 
meridian  of  life. 

It  has  been  declared  that  "  men  of  great  integrity  who  have  no 
thought  of  pushing  into  any  ambitious  sphere,  but  only  of  doing 
with  all  their  might  the  work  which  their  hands  find  to  do,  are  the 
salt  of  society,  the  strength  of  a  nation,  and  it  is  not  well  that 
such  should  be  forgot." 

The  sentiment  is  fitting  to  Josiah  Higley,  as  far  as  we  can  dis- 
cover the  tenor  and  bearings  of  his  life.  The  sphere  in  which  he 
was  known  extended  little  beyond  the  region  of  Windsor  and 
Simsbury.  He  appears  to  have  held  an  honorable  position,  and 
served  upon  important  town  committees,  though  there  is  no 
indication  that  he  was  a  leader  in  public  affairs.  The  narrative  of 
his  life  is  virtually  that  of  a  good  citizen,  a  worthy  son  of  a 
worthy  father. 

The  decease  of  Captain  John  Higley  having  taken  place  when 
this  son  was  but  thirteen  years  of  age,  he  was  deprived  of 

JOSIAH  HIGLEY,    1ST.  145 

paternal  care.  At  fourteen  he  was  taken  into  court,  where  he 
chose  Thomas  Moore  of  Windsor  for  his  guardian. 

On  the  day  before  New  Year's,  December  31,  1724,  when  he  was 
twenty-three,  he  married  Dinah  Gillett,  of  a  family  of  excellent 
standing  and  among  the  first  grantees  of  land  in  that  part  of  Sims- 
bury.  The  young  couple  settled  in  the  parish  of  Turkey-Hills, 
then  a  part  of  the  town  of  Simsbury — now  East  Granby, 
Conn. — where  "  Josias  "  owned  lands.  There  were  not  at  this 
time  sixty  families  living  in  that  vicinity.  Here  their  children, 
and  many  of  their  grandchildren,  were  born  and  brought  up. 

In  town  appointments  Josiah  Higley  repeatedly  served  the 
local  interests  in  a  variety  of  matters,  among  which  was  the  "Sur- 
veying of  Highways." 

An  ecclesiastical  parish  was  granted  by  the  General  Assembly 
in  October,  1736,  which  was  organized  and  petitioned  for  "  by  the 
inhabitants  of  Turkey-Hills,  Salmon  Brook,  The  Falls,  and  the 
Higleys."  l  For  two  years,  however,  the  petitioners  could  not 
agree  upon  a  spot  for  the  location  of  the  meeting  house.  In 
1738  a  committee  from  the  General  Assembly  was  appointed  to 
take  the  matter  in  hand  and  "  Affix  a  place  in  the  Society  to  set 
the  meeting  house  upon."  Upon  the  parish  records  Josiah 
Higley's  name  is  frequently  found  in  relation  to  the  performance 
of  various  duties  in  this  connection,  which  shows  him  to  have 
been  one  of  the  founders  of  this  parish.8 

In  1745  he  was  made  a  member  of  an  important  committee  set 
apart  to  manage  and  lay  out  the  common  and  undivided  lands 
which  had  been  granted  by  the  town  some  years  previous,  and  to 
attend,  in  behalf  of  the  inhabitants,  to  the  leasing  of  lands  on 

Josiah,  among  other  sons  and  some  of  the  sons-in-law  of  Cap- 
tain John  Higley  who  were  commissioned  officers,  was  possessed 
of  a  military  spirit  and  was  familiar  with  military  tactics,  holding 
the  rank  of  sergeant  in  the  Connecticut  militia. 

Sergeant  Josiah  Higley  and  Dinah  Gillett  were  the  parents  of 
six  children  who  are  found  upon  record — viz. :  Josiah,  2d,  born 
"Nov.  ye  6,  1725";  Rebecca,  born  May  22,  1727;  Susannah,  born 
May  6,  1730;  Dinah,  born  January  i,  1731;  Nathan,  born  August 
i,  1736;  and  Elijah,  born  about  1738. 

These  became  the  ancestors  of  many  descendants  who  are  now 

1  Supposed  to  refer  to  the  residents  of  Higley-Town. 
9  This  parish  is  now  known  as  the  North  Society. 


living  and  who  are  much  respected  citizens  in  different  parts  of 
this  country. 

His  death  occurred  within  a  few  months  of  entering  his 
fiftieth  year.  His  wife  survived  him,  but  it  is  not  known  how 
many  years.  She  was  yet  living  in  the  year  1754. 

In  his  will  he  bequeathed  to  her  —  "  my  wife  Dinah  —  the  use  of 
one  third  of  my  lands,  during  her  life."  After  setting  apart, 
according  to  the  old  English  custom,  a  special  portion  for  his 
eldest  son,  "all  of  the  remainder  of  the  estate,  both  personal  and 
movable,"  was  divided  in  equal  shares  between  his  six  children. 
He  appointed  his  "beloved  wife  Dinah"  and  his  son  Josiah, 
Jr.,  his  executors. 

The  inventory  of  the  estate  indicates  that  he  was  living  in 
moderate  surroundings  at  the  time  of  his  decease.  When  his 
death  took  place  he  resided  upon  a  plot  of  ten  acres  of  land 
located  about  two  miles  south  of  Turkey-Hills  Centre,  which  is 
described  as  "  lying  north  of  the  highway  that  goes  from  Hatchet- 
hill  to  Windsor,  together  with  six  acres  lying  on  the  west  side  of 
the  mountain." 

He  was  interred  in  the  ancient  burial  ground  at  Turkey-Hills, 
(now  East  Granby).  The  inscription  upon  his  tombstone,  which 
is  still  standing,  is  as  follows  : 


mag  31  1751 

ageD  50. 

For  descendants  of  Josiah  Higley  see  chapter  Ixix. 



The  wold  an'  young  do  slowly  come, 
An'  teake  in  stillness  each  his  pleace. 


BUT  a  short  sketch  of  Abigail,  the  fourteenth  child  of  the  large 
family  of  Captain  John  Higley,  can  be  given;  there  being  yet  dis- 
covered but  the  briefest  record  of  her  life.  Her  story  must  there- 
fore remain  in  the  unwritten  annals  of  the  family. 

She  was  born  at  Simsbury,  Conn.,  November  4,  1703.  When 
she  was  twelve  years  of  age,  her  mother  Sarah  (Strong)  Higley 
was  appointed  her  guardian. 

The  influences  which  surrounded  her  were  the  same  as  those  of 
the  other  children  of  the  household,  and  of  other  women  of  that 
day.  The  sameness  of  their  unobtrusive,  quiet,  and  limited 
spheres,  as  they  pass  in  procession  before  us,  furnishes  little  mate- 
rial for  the  biographer;  they  were,  however,  among  the  mothers 
and  grandmothers  of  the  "thought,  conscience,  and  moral  influ- 
ence "  which  went  out  of  the  simple,  rural,  colonial  homes  of 
New  England,  and  which  gave  life  and  being  to  the  future  nation. 
They  were  solicitous  and  careful  to  lay  the  elements  of  true 
character  in  their  children,  and  taught  deep-rooted  principles, 
instilling  into  their  minds  a  reverence  for  truth  and  honor.  Their 
lives,  though  inconspicuous,  told  upon  the  depth  of  the  character 
of  their  sons  and  their  sons'  sons. 

Abigail  Higley  was  married  previous  to  her  twentieth  year  to 
Peter  Thorp,  and  lived  at  Lebanon,  Conn.,  in  the  parish  known 
as  Goshen.  Her  husband  appears  to  have  been  many  years  her 
senior,  and  to  have  been  a  widower  with  children  scarcely  younger 
in  years  than  his  wife.  On  the  organization  of  the  Goshen  Con- 
gregational Church  by  thirty-two  persons,  in  1729,  his  name 
appears  as  one  of  the  number.  Abigail  Thorp  was  admitted  to 
its  membership  in  1730.  Peter  Thorp  died  September  i,  1734. 

In  his  will  he  provided  for  his  wife  Abigail  and  their  children; 
viz.,  James,  Ruth.  Sarah,  Peter,  Aaron,  Abigail,  and  Hannah. 


It  is  quite  probable  that  some  of  these  children  were  by  his  first 

Abigail,  Jr.,  married  Joseph  Gay;  and  Hannah,  whose  death 
occurred  before  her  father's,  married  John  Foster. 

Abigail  Higley  Thorp  is  mentioned  in  the  settlement  of  her 
father's  estate.  Her  autograph  is  preserved  among  the  receipts 
in  the  executor's  accounts  given  January  10,  1724,  at  which  date 
it  appears  that  she  had  gone  from  Lebanon  to  Simsbury  to  trans- 
act business  for  herself  and  her  two  sisters,  Mindwell  and 
Susannah,  who  also  resided  there.  This  autograph  is  the  only 
relic  of  her  which  has  fallen  into  the  hands  of  the  present  genera- 
tion. At  the  final  distribution  of  her  mother's  estate,  money  was 
ordered  to  be  paid  to  Abigail's  heirs,  "  their  Mother's  part." 

Her  death  took  place  at  Goshen,  July,  1742,  in  the  fortieth  year 
of  her  age. 

The  descendants  of  Abigail  Higley  Thorp  have  not  been  traced. 



"  There  is  not  a  human  life  that  is  now  potent  for  good,  which  is  not  shaped  and  swayed  in 
large  measure  by  the  influence  of  lives  which  have  passed  from  earth." 

SUSANNAH  HIGLEY'S  life,  like  that  of  her  next  older  sister,  has 
lain  for  nearly  two  centuries  under  almost  total  eclipse.  Few 
records  of  her  are  extant.  Even  the  stage  and  scenes  of  her 
married  life  are  somewhat  obscure. 

Her  birth  took  place  in  1705,  at  Simsbury,  and  she  was  the 
fifteenth  child  of  her  father,  Captain  John  Higley. 

On  the  zd  of  January,  1724,  she  married  Elisha  Blackman  of 
Lebanon,  Conn.,  to  which  town  she  removed,  and  here  they 
reared  a  family. 

The  daily  duties  of  these  old-time  women  consisted  in  machine- 
like  service  of  the  household,  and  might  be  summarized  as  the 
bearing  of  children,  nursing  and  guiding  their  large  families, 
attending  to  the  plain  cookery,  hetchilling  the  flax  and  tow,  card- 
ing the  wool  from  the  fleeces  of  their  own  sheep,  and  spinning 
and  dyeing  with  their  own  hands  the  cloth  which  they  fashioned 
into  garments  for  the  family.  The  indispensable  spinning  wheel 
was  a  household  article  which  is  named  in  almost  every  inventory 
of  the  times. 

The  wife  and  mother  was  cook,  housekeeper,  and  nurse.  She 
attended  to  everything  herself,  and  was  unaccustomed  to  frittering 
away  her  time,  or  running  after  petty  vanities.  She  cooked  in 
iron  pots,  which  were  hung  from  the  crane  in  the  huge  fireplace, 
and  her  baking  was  done  in  the  "big  oven  "built  either  adjoining 
the  fireplace,  or  a  little  way  from  the  house  out  of  doors.  The 
hot  ashes  and  burning  coals  formed  a  bed  for  roasting  potatoes 
and  green  corn,  and  the  Indian  corn  and  rye  were  made  into 
meal  for  Johnny  cake  and  the  rye  loaf. 

An  endless  variety  of  duties  of  necessity  were  laid  upon  the 
matrons  of  these  households  in  way  of  drying  fruits  and  vege- 
tables, which  were  hung  from  the  ceiling,  for  it  was  before  the 
days  of  canned  goods;  gathering  and  drying  herbs  for  domestic 

IT  *« 


remedies  in  case  of  illness  and  emergencies;  extracting  lye  from 
the  wood-ashes  and  making  all  the  soap;  preparing  the  hominy 
for  the  table  by  a  slow  process,  and  manufacturing  the  starch. 
They  made  sausages,  tried  lard,  made  butter  and  cheese. 

The  children  were  early  put  to  work.  All  were  trained  to  lives 
of  industry.  The  older  ones  soon  came  to  the  help  of  the  mother 
and  lightened  her  burdens.  The  boys  built  fires,  did  chores, 
worked  in  the  "truck  patch,"  and  were  made  to  busy  themselves 
in  useful  occupations.  The  few  methods  they  had  for  getting  fun 
consisted  in  going  swimming,  trapping  small  game,  "coon  "  hunt- 
ing, fishing,  gathering  nuts  from  the  forests,  and  out-of-doors 
sports.  The  daughters  took  their  turn  at  the  spinning  wheel, 
the  loom,  the  churn,  and  the  wash-tub,  and  in  all  the  domestic 
labor  of  the  household.  There  were  no  servant-girls  employed. 
There  were  no  toys  for  the  young  children,  no  juvenile  books, 
and  no  Christmas  pastimes  were  observed.1  It  was  before  the 
days  of  Sunday-schools. 

The  open  fire,  with  its  blazing  back-log,  and  the  candlewood, 
chiefly  furnished  the  evening  light.  This  candlewood  was  split 
from  the  pitch  pine  that  grew  on  the  hills.  The  timepieces  were 
the  sundial  in  the  dooryard,  and  the  "noon  mark  "  in  the  window. 
They  had  no  clocks.  "  Early  candlelight "  noted  the  time  for 
neighborhood  gatherings,  which  were  frequent  and  hearty.  The 
hospitality  of  the  homes  was  cordial  and  freely  offered  ;  the  latch- 
string  on  the  door  was  out  to  the  passer-by. 

The  mother  was  the  inspiration  of  her  home,  making  it  the 
abode  of  peace,  filling  it  with  the  home-spirit  which  makes  the 
hearthstone  the  center  of  sweet  recollections  in  after-life,  and  she 
was  beloved  and  remembered  for  her  own  sake.  Her  aspiration 
was  not  to  gain  prominence  for  herself,  but  her  ambitions  were 
fixed  upon  her  husband,  whom  she  reverenced. 

Progress,  as  related  to  woman's  development,  had  moved 
slowly  for  the  last  half  century,  if,  indeed,  it  had  moved  at  all. 
They  lived  under  the  English  conception  of  woman's  position, 
and  her  relations  to  her  husband  and  her  home. 

The  inferior  education  given  to  daughters,  as  compared  with 
the  sons,  is  in  this  day  of  advantages  for  the  superior  education 
of  women,  and  the  higher  cultivation  of  her  faculties,  a  surprise, 
and  unhappily  reflects  great  discredit  upon  our  forefathers. 

1  The  Puritan  Pailiament  ordered,  December  24,  1652,  "  That  no  observation  shall  be  had  of 
the  five-and-twentieth  day  of  December,  commonly  called  Christmas  day  ;  nor  any  solemnity  used 
or  exercised  in  churches  upon  that  day  in  respect  thereof." 


It  was  not  customary  in  those  days  even  to  give  the  women  a 
special  individuality  by  recognition  of  their  own  given  names. 
They  were  known  in  the  neighborhood,  and  recorded  on  the 
church-rolls,  as  "Deacon  Smith's  wife,"  the  "Widder  Brown," 
"Goodwife  Jones";  and  at  death  the  widow  was  carefully  placed 
upon  record  as  "The  Relique"  of  Mr.  So-and-So — or,  in  plain 
literal  terms,  the  remains,  or  all  that  was  left  of  "  Zerubbabel 

"Woman's  sphere,"  and  the  "advancement  of  women,"  were 
questions  not  yet  discussed,  nor  had  these  subjects  even  dawned 
upon  the  minds  of  these  faithful  and  unchronicled  daughters  of 
toil.  But,  withal,  they  were  heroic  and  thoughtful,  and  there 
was  much  of  intellectual  acuteness  and  strength  in  their  characters. 
They  visited  from  neighbor  to  neighbor  during  the  week,  discuss- 
ing the  Sunday  sermon  and  high  theological  points,  forming  their 
own  opinions  and  speaking  their  own  minds,  with  an  intelligence 
that  would  eclipse  many  a  dame  of  these  latter  days. 

While  they  were  not  assertive  women,  and  valued  and  leaned 
upon  the  protection  of  man,  they  had  a  certain  independence  in 
the  transaction  of  business  matters  which  seems  to  singularly 
ill  accord  with  the  constant  signs  of  the  meek  spirit  of  subjection 
that  they  maintained  in  other  usages  of  their  lives.  This  is 
specially  manifested  in  the  numerous  land  transactions  in  which 
a  great  many  women  engaged,  and  which  is  one  of  the  notable 
features  of  the  records  concerning  the  Higley  women  of  the  first 

Susannah  Higley  received,  at  the  final  division  of  her  father's 
estate,  her  share  of  the  lands.  The  ancient  and  historical  account 
books  show  her  to  have  received  in  different  small  payments  an 
additional  ten  pounds  in  money,  the  last  of  which  appears  to  have 
been  conveyed  to  her  by  her  sister  Abigail,  who  gave  a  receipt 
for  the  same.  Her  souvenirs  from  the  old  homestead  were  "a 
pewter  tankard  and  a  glass  bottol." 

Four  children,  three  sons  and  one  daughter,  are  upon  record 
as  having  been  born  to  Elisha  Blackman  and  Susannah  Higley. 
Joseph,  the  eldest,  whose  birth  took  place  November  26,  1724, 
married in  1758.  He  was  the  father  of  three  children,  viz. : 

Mary,  born  February  19,  1759  ;  Susannah,  born  January  3,  1761  ;  and  Lurany, 
born  June  21,  1763. 

Elisha,   the  second   son,    was  born  September  19,    1727,  and 


married  Lucy  Smith,  a  widow,   March  22,  1753.     They  had  chil- 
dren as  follows  : 

Lucy,  born  September  7,  1755  ;  Levina,  born  September  7,  1757  ;  Elisha,  born 
April  4,  1760  ;  Ichabod,  born  March  24,  1762  ;  Eleazar,  born  May  31,  1765. 

Jonathan,  the  third  son  of  Elisha  and  Susannah  Higley  Black- 
man,  born  May  12,  1729,  married  Sarah  Comstock  November  7, 

One  daughter,  Susannah,  was  the  issue  of  this  marriage.  She  was  born  July  25, 

Susannah,  their  fourth  and  last  child,  was  named  for  her 
mother,  and  was  born  August  12,  1733.  We  find  no  allusion  to 
her  afterwards. 

Susannah  Higley  Blackman  was  yet  living  March,  1748,  when 
the  final  settlement  of  her  mother's  estate  (Mrs.  Sarah  Strong 
Higley)  took  place.  It  is  not  known  when  her  days  ended. 

The  descendants  of  Susannah  Higley  Blackman  have  not  been  further  traced. 



Slow  from  the  plow  the  woods  withdrew, 
Slowly  each  year  the  corn-lands  grew  ; 
Nor  fire,  nor  frost,  nor  foe  could  kill 
The  Saxon  energy  of  will. 

And  never  in  the  hamlet's  bound 
Was  lack  of  sturdy  manhood  found  ; 
And  never  failed  the  kindred  good 
Of  brave  and  helpful  womanhood. 


THE  child  that  was  born  to  Captain  John  Higley  and  his  wife, 
Sarah,  on  the  2oth  of  July,  1707,  was  baptized  on  the  i4th  of 
the  September  following,  and  given  the  name  Isaac.  He  was 
the  sixteenth  and  youngest  child  of  the  numerous  household. 

Isaac  Higley  began  life  in  the  midst  of  great  emotions  in  the 
community.  Just  preceding  his  birth  it  became  known  that  the 
lurking  Indians  were  planning  an  attack  upon  the  settlement,  and 
the  Council  of  War  at  Hartford  had  ordered  that  fortifications 
should  be  provided  by  the  inhabitants,  "with  all  possible  speed — 
a  sufficient  number  of  well  fortified  houses  for  the  saftie  of  them- 
selves and  families."  There  was  for  a  time  something  like  a 
reign  of  terror.  It  is  an  old  saying  that  "  Desperite  game  need 
an  able  gamester,"  so  his  father,  Captain  John  Higley,  was 
brought  into  vigilant  action  in  these  measures  for  defense,  and 
was  standing  equipped  with  his  military  forces  ready  for  the 
"  wager  of  battle." 

From  the  capacious  memories  of  the  older  members  of  the 
family,  Isaac,  no  doubt,  had  his  head  filled,  in  the  subsequent 
years  of  his  childhood  and  youth,  with  household  stories  of  Indian 
encounters  and  scenes  of  tragedy  which  occurred  about  the  time 
that  he  was  born.  ' 

His  father  dying  when  he  was  but  seven  years  of  age,  the 
responsibility  of  his  training  fell  chiefly  upon  the  mother.  The 
court  appointed  Thomas  Moore  of  Windsor  his  guardian. 

The  boy  grew   to  manhood  amid  the    charming  scenes   and 

1   See  story  of  the  capture  of  Daniel  Hayes,  page  70. 


beautiful  range  of  Connecticut  hills  and  rivers  of  Simsbury  and 
Windsor.  As  long  as  he  lived  he  bore  the  respect  of  the  com- 
munities in  which  he  resided,  and  was  held  in  an  especially  affec- 
tionate regard  by  those  brothers  who  were  the  sons  of  another 
mother.  While  yet  in  his  teens  his  widowed  mother  removed  to 
Windsor,  and  Isaac  appears  to  have  removed  with  her.  Like 
several  members  of  his  family  he  devoted  himself  to  agricultural 
pursuits,  and  bore  worthy  repute  as  a  husbandman. 

The  wild  and  uncultivated  country,  after  the  Indians  had  ceased 
their  hostilities  (about  1724),  began  in  his  day  to  show  signs  of 
advance  and  improvement,  and  fruitful  fields  were  now  to  be 
seen.  A  bridge  was  built  across  the  Farmington  River  in  1734, 
the  inhabitants  having  for  more  than  a  century  depended  upon 
ferries  of  the  simplest  construction,  which  were  licensed  and 
regularly  established  at  different  points;  two-wheeled  vehicles 
began  to  appear :  and  carpets  were  sometimes  seen  upon  the 
floors.  The  people  lived  plainly,  and,  compared  with  these  days, 
their  comforts  were  few.  Wolves  and  wild  animals  were  still  so 
numerous  that  they  had  great  difficulty  in  protecting  their  sheep. 
Deer,  wild  turkeys,  and  rattlesnakes  abounded  in  the  thick  sur- 
rounding forests. 

Planting  apple  orchards  was  an  enterprise  which  was  entered 
into  by  most  of  the  landowners,  and  plenty  of  cider  was  kept  on 
hand,  and  using  it  to  excess  was  a  common  indulgence.  Their 
tables  were  supplied  by  products  from  their  tilled  fields;  the  sheep 
and  swine  which  they  raised  furnishing  their  meats,  together  with 
the  wild  game,  which  was  everywhere  plentiful.  Until  the 
streams  were  damaged  by  mill-dams  the  beautiful  rivers  and 
brooks  abounded  in  shad  and  salmon,  and  the  fisherman's  interests 
were  a  means  of  employment  and  profit. 

In  the  social  status  of  the  community,  the  range  of  human 
level  was  still  divided  into  families  which  held  class-eminency  and 
those  of  the  humbler  landowners.  The  recognition  of  an  "  upper 
class  "  held  almost  as  strong  a  grip  upon  the  communities  as  it 
had  fifty  years  before. 

Among  the  younger  set  there  was  much  jollification  and  demoral- 
izing merry-making,  which  would  in  these  times  be  scarcely  admis- 
sible in  polite  society;  and  which,  in  many  cases,  led  into  great 
familiarity  between  the  sexes,  with  perplexing  consequences. 
Whitefield,  when  preaching  in  the  different  towns  through  this 
section  of  the  country,  found  occasion  to  speak  forcibly  against 


"  Mixed  dancing,  and  the  frolicking  of  males  and  females 
together,"  which  practice,  he  afterward  declared,  "was  very 

Saturday  evening  was  in  those  good  old  times  spent,  as  has 
been  the  custom  in  so  many  New  England  homes  for  more  than 
two  centuries  to  this  day,  in  preparation  for  the  Sabbath.1  Every- 
thing like  levity  was  solemnly  hushed.  All  work  of  the  house- 
hold and  ordinary  occupations  were  stopped,  as  far  as  practicable, 
until  Monday  morning. 

The  minister  continued  to  occupy  a  very  dignified  position. 
Although  these  spiritual  heroes,  with  their  worthy  church  officials, 
still  frowned  upon  the  doings  of  any  individual  who  deviated  from 
serious  thought  and  grave,  funeral-like  demeanor  on  the  Sabbath' 
day,  and  subjected  the  members  of  their  flocks  to  the  strictest 
letter  of  the  laws  which  had  been  framed  by  the  first  Puritan 
emigrants,  yet  it  is  a  simple  historical  fact  that  they  failed  in 
imbuing  their  followers  with  the  practice  of  the  spirit  of  peace, 
and  that  "charity  which  suffereth  long  and  is  kind"  was  often 
wanting  in  the  different  settlements.  Bitter  controversies  and 
neighborhood  broils  kindled  into  high  flame  over  points  at  issue 
which  were  constantly  arising,  and  in  which  a  grievous  lack  of  the 
oil.  of  brotherly  kindness  and  the  Christian  law  of  love  and 
forbearance  was  manifested.  The  lion  and  the  lamb  utterly 
refused  to  lie  down  together;  antagonistic  spirits  holding  stub- 
bornly to  their  individual  preferences."  If  the  Higleys,  whose 
names,  including  that  of  Isaac,  by  the  middle  of  the  last  century 
are  found  in  much  activity  upon  the  church  records,  joined  to 
a  great  extent  in  these  broils  and  were  at  swords'  points  on  puri- 
tanical or  other  issues,  time  and  their  graves  have  concealed  it — 
well  it  is  that  the  silence  is  perfect. 

From  Isaac,  the  youngest  son  in  the  first  American  Higley 
family,  a  clew  is  obtained,  and  the  only  one,  except  a  strongly 
marked  heredity  which  runs  throughout  all  the  lines  of  descend- 

1  "  Under  the  Colonial  government  it  was  for  some  time  made  a  question  of  -when  the  Sabbath 
should  be  considered  as  commencing ;  but  in  1645  it  became  the  custom  to  regard  the  evening  of 
the  last  day  of  the  week  as  the  beginning  of  the  Sabbath.  Several  clergyman,  however,  con- 
sidered Saturday  afternoon  as  the  commencement  of  holy  time." — "  Olden  Time  Series,"  H.  M- 

a  "  But  they  were  glorious  men — men  whose  arms  were  iron  and  whose  nerves  were  steel 
They  were  men  who  fought  and  struggled  not  for  glory,  nor  for  ambition,  but  for  conscience  and 
for  principle.  They  did  not  always  bow  courteously  before  they  used  their  sword,  they  did  not 
say  '  by  your  leave '  before  they  ran  their  bayonet  through  the  heart.  They  were  brave  and  true 
men,  and  the  world  is  immeasurably  better  and  nobler  for  t'.ieir  having  lived  in  it." — Lyman  Abbott, 


ants,  of  the  stature  of  the  early  Higleys.  Between  Isaac  and 
his  brother  Nathaniel,  and  descendants  who  are  now  living,  there 
is  a  link  with  the  long  past,  binding  the  present  generation  to 
their  day.  Naomi  Higley,  the  granddaughter  of  Brewster 
Higley,  ist,  who  married  her  cousin  Brewster  Higley,  4th,  lived 
to  the  year  1850,  residing  with  her  grandchildren  in  Meigs  Co., 
Ohio.  They  often  heard  her  talk  of  these  two  grand-uncles  of 
hers.  She  retained  a  clear  recollection  of  them,  having  been 
a  girl  of  fourteen  when  Nathaniel  died  in  1773.  Isaac  was  a  fre- 
quent visitor  at  her  father's  house — Captain  Joseph  Higley's.  He 
was  of  princely  physique,  finely  proportioned  and  commanding 
in  appearance,  walked  erect,  and  was  active.  He  stood  six  feet 
and  five  inches  in  height,  and  his  hands  and  feet  were  of  notice- 
able size  and  proportions.  Naomi  Higley  described  him  as  "so 
tall  that  he  was  forced  to  stoop  to  enter  her  father's  door." 
The  low-ceiled  houses  seemed  to  cage  him.  She  related  that 
one  day,  when  at  her  father's  house,  he  arose  to  leave  the  room. 
"Where  are  you  going,  Uncle  Isaac?"  his  nephew  inquired. 
"Oh,  just  out  of  doors  to  stretch  myself— that's  all,"  was  his 
reply.  He  is  said  to  have  been  somewhat  eccentric  and  original 
in  expression,  and  was  always  found  to  be  fully  conversant  upon 
all  topics  of  his  times.  He  was  very  fond  of  children. 

Isaac  Higley's  wife,  who  was  Sarah  Porter  of  Windsor,  whom 
he  married  February  13,  1735,  bore  him  two  daughters,  the  only 
children  he  ever  had — Sarah,  born  November  23,  1735,  who 
never  married,  and  Susannah,  born  December  8,  1742.  The 
minister,  Rev.  Nathaniel  Roberts,  entered  this  record: 

"Jan.  ye  3,  1741/2, 1  baptized  a  child  for  Isaac  Higley  and  her  name  is  Susannah." 

There  is  no  allusion  anywhere  made  to  this  child  afterward. 

Early  in  1732  Isaac  Higley  began  trading  and  securing  lands 
in  Torrington,  Conn.  The  first  settlers  of  this  town  were  almost 
altogether  from  Windsor.  His  name  is  mentioned  in  this  con- 
nection with  other  citizens  of  Windsor  as  early  as  September  10, 
1733.  In  January  of  that  year  he  purchased  an  additional  lot 
of  land  from  Jonathan  Barber,  and  again  in  August,  1738,  from 
Aaron  Barber.  In  1739  purchases  of  more  land  were  made  from 
his  brother-in-law  Jonathan  Trumbull  of  Lebanon,  who  appears 
to  have  been  the  owner  of  lands  at  Torrington. 

It  was  about  this  date  (1739)  that  he  removed  with  his  family 
to  Torrington,  being  among  the  first  settlers  of  the  town,  and 


where  he  became  a  man  of  considerable  note.  There  were  but 
nine  families  within  the  limits  of  the  town  at  its  beginning.  He 
was  at  once  associated  with  those  who  took  early  measures  to 
establish  church  privileges,  memorializing  the  General  Assembly 
in  October  of  the  same  year,  asking  to  be  "organized  into  an 
Ecclesiastical  Society,  and  that  taxes  might  be  imposed  for  the 
support  of  the  gospel  ministry."  A  church  was  founded  of  which, 
in  1741,  the  Rev.  Nathaniel  Roberts  was  ordained  the  first  minis- 
ter. In  October,  1747,  Isaac  Higley  served  on  a  committee  of 
three  appointed  by  the  General  Assembly  to  build  a  meeting 
house.  They  erected  the  first  church  building  in  the  town, 
which  was  ordered  to  be  "a  frame  structure  of  the  dimensions 
of  thirty  foot  square  and  eighteen  foot  between  joints."  The 
meeting  houses  of  Colonial  times  were  not  warmed;  there  were 
no  stoves  in  those  days.  "  It  was  considered  that  a  comfortable 
degree  of  heat  while  at  public  worship  did  not  contribute  to  the 
profitable  hearing  of  the  gospel.  The  first  stove  known  to  have 
been  introduced  into  a  house  of  worship  was  in  Massachusetts 
in  1773,"  thirty  years  later  than  this  period,  and  "  was  considered 
an  indication  of  extravagance  and  degeneracy."  ' 

In  1745  a  small  school  was  opened  in  the  midst  of  the  forest  at 
Torrington.  These  early  schools  on  the  outskirts  were  generally 
kept  by  school-dames.  There  was,  by  this  time,  a  growing 
degeneracy  in  the  standard  of  the  schools  in  the  colony,  many 
betraying  an  unwillingness  to  support  them;  yet  some  effort  was 
still  made  to  store  the  minds  of  the  young  with  useful  knowledge. 
The  old-time  New  England  schoolmaster  governed  his  pupils 
"by  the  persuasive  eloquence  of  the  rod!"  He  was  a  practical 
advocate  of  corporal  punishment.  "School  opened,"  states  a 
writer  of  those  times,  "  when  the  birch  rod  was  laid  across  the 
master's  desk."  A  sharp  thrashing  scene  Was  no  uncommon 
event  in  the  daily  school  exercises.  It  has  been  stated  that 
"shingles  and  old  slippers  had  much  to  do  with  the  proud 
civilization  of  the  past."  During  the  year  1748  a  division  was 
made  between  the  east  and  the  west  side  of  the  town — Torrington 
and  Torringford.  Isaac  Higley  appears  on  the  west  side  in  Tor- 
rington, where  his  estate  lay  "on  the  hill  adjoining  Joseph 
Allyn's  place."  The  population  had  now  increased,  by  1756,  to 
two  hundred  and  fifty. 

His  wife,  Sarah  Porter,  died  on  the  ipth  of  July,  1753,  and  on  the 
24th  of  February,  1757,  he  married  Sarah  Loomis. 

1 "  Old  Time  Series,"  by  H.  M.  Brooks. 


Isaac  was  the  third  son  of  Captain  John  Higley  who  bore  the 
honor  of  being  commissioned  by  the  General  Assembly  ensign 
of  the  military  company  of  the  town  to  which  he  belonged.  The 
Act  was  passed  October,  1757. 

It  is  a  matter  worthy  of  especial  notice  that  his  brother  Brew- 
ster  Higley,  ist,  who  had  sons  the  same  age  as  Isaac,  and  was  the 
largest  property  holder  in  the  family,  selected  him  to  settle  his 
estate.  "I  make,"  says  Brewster  in  the  document,  "my  loving 
brother  Isaac  my  sole  executor,"  etc. ;  evincing  the  worthy  trust 
which  might  be  reposed  in  him,  as  well  as  the  affectionate  regard 
in  which  he  was  held  by  Captain  Higley's  older  children.  It  is 
not  known  just  how  long  Isaac  survived  his  brother. 

The  tradition  from  the  venerable  grandparents  is  that  he  met 
his  death  by  accidental  drowning  while  crossing  the  river  on  the 
ice  in  the  winter  of  177-,  with  a  wagon  loaded  with  wood  ;  the 
wagon  breaking  through.  In  his  effort  to  save  his  horses,  he  him- 
self went  under  the  ice.  His  body  was  never  recovered.  With 
the  early  spring  thaw  the  following  season  came  a  great  freshet, 
which  swept  it  away  in  the  flood. 

The  date  of  the  decease  of  his  second  wife  and  that  of  his 
unmarried  daughter  is  not  known.  His  widow  held  the  farm 
until  the  soth  of  January,  1800,  on  which  date  she  gave  a  deed 
of  conveyance  to  Oliver  Allyn.  This  closed  the  family  history. 
There  were  no  descendants. 



Continued  from  chapter  xvii.  p.  96. 

David  Noble,  Katherine,  Captain  John  Higley. 

Consider  the  years  of  many  generations. — DEUTERONOMY,   xxxii.  7. 

OF  Katherine  Higley  Noble's  children,  a  son  and  daughter  sur- 
vived her,  Lydia  and  David. 

LYDIA  NOBLE,  the  eldest  child  of  James  Noble  and  Katherine 
Higley,  born  December  7,  1704,  married  April  30,  1734,  Stephen 
Kelsey  of  Killingwarth,  Conn.  They  took  up  their  residence  at 
Westfidd,  Mass.  He  died  December  n,  1753.  She  died  April 
18,  1768.  They  had  seven  children,  viz.:  Stephen,  Gershom, 
James,  Mindwell,  Stephen  (zd),  Lydia,  Stephen  (3^). 

DAVID  NOBLE,  Sr.,  the  third  child  of  James  and  Katherine  Hig- 
ley Noble,  was  born  March  3,  1709,  and  married  Abigail  Loomis, 
daughter  of  Philip  and  Hannah  Loomis  of  Simsbury. 

He  was  a  man  of  prominent  usefulness.  In  the  year  1732  he 
removed  with  his  family  to  Hebron,  Conn.  Here  he  had  much 
to  do  with  founding  the  ecclesiastical  society  called  Gilead,  which 
was  organized  in  1748,  his  name  being  frequently  noted  in  its 
first  meeting,  which  was  held  in  June  of  that  year.  It  was  then, 

"Voted,  that  Mr.  Thomas  Post  and  Mr.  David  Noble  shall  tune  the  Psalms  for  us 
on  the  dayes  of  divine  worship." 

This  appointment  betrays  David  Noble's  share  in  the  heredi- 
tary musical  turn  which  runs  through  the  Higley  family  from  its 
very  early  history  to  this  day. 

He  was  also  appointed  on  a  committee  to  obtain  land  "  to  set 
our  meeting-house  on."  He  was  subsequently  chosen  moderator 
of  the  society's  meetings,  and  again  in  1750  he  served  upon  a  com- 
mittee to  " treat  with  a  minister."  He  died  at  the  age  of  fifty- 
two,  February  18,  1761.  A  monument  stands  to  his  memory  in 
the  Gilead  cemetery. 

The  wife  of  David  Noble,  Sr.,  Abigail  Loomis,  lived  to  the 
ripe  old  age  of  ninety-two.  They  had  twelve  children.1 

1  See  names,  dates,  etc.,  of  this  family  and  its  descendants,  "  Noble  Genealogies." 


DAVID  NOBLE,  JR.,  their  eldest  son,  was  born  at  Westfield, 
Mass.,  and  removed  to  Hebron,  Conn.,  with  his  parents.  From 
his  early  boyhood  the  light  and  presence  of  his  grandmother, 
Katherine  Higley  Noble,  shone  in  his  father's  household,  of  which 
she  was  counted  one.  Without  doubt  she  often  enriched  it  with 
bright  stories  drawn  from  her  own  recollections  of  her  father's, 
Captain  John  Higley,  achievements  and  military  experiences  in 
the  border  days  during  the  hostile  warfare  with  the  Indians. 
The  influence  she  cast  upon  young  David's  after-conduct  in  life 
could  not  have  been  inconsiderable.  The  patriotic  zeal  and  self- 
sacrifice  which  has  proved  a  strong  characteristic  in  many  of 
Captain  John  Higley's  descendants  was  nobly  manifested  in  him. 

David  Noble,  Jr.,  was  one  of  the  true  heroes  of  the  Revolu- 
tion; his  name  and  deeds  are  deserving  of  perpetual  recognition 
in  the  annals  of  our  country.  His  career  ranks  next  to  that  of 
his  cousin,  Jonathan  Trumbull,  as  among  the  most  interesting  in 
the  record  of  the  Higley  family.  It  is  to  be  regretted  that  the 
limit  of  these  pages  forbids  more  than  a  modest  memorial  of  his 
devotion  to  the  cause  of  liberty. 

When  the  "first  mutterings  of  the  war  of  the  Revolution" 
began,  he  volunteered  his  services  without  wavering,  leaving 
at  home  a  wife  and  a  family  of  children. 

The  time  of  his  enlistment  and  duration  of  his  absence  is  not 


recorded.  He  left  home  the  second  time,  April  22,  1775,  march- 
ing with  his  comrades  to  Cambridge  in  the  rank  of  captain,  under 
the  watchword  " LIBERTY  OR  DEATH." 

The  exact  time  of  his  return  to  his  home  is  not  known,  but  he 
appears  to  have  participated  in  the  battle  of  Bunker  Hill,  in 
which  he  bore  a  part  in  the  defense  of  Fort  No.  3,  a  work  of  his 
own  regiment. 

Neither  the  battles  of  Concord  and  Bunker  Hill  nor  the  priva- 
tions and  hardships  of  the  service  diminished  Captain  Noble's 
zeal.  Realizing  that  recruiting  was  proceeding  but  slowly,  that 
there  was  need  of  disciplined  men,  and  that  the  supply  of  arms 
was  scanty,  by  his  earnest  individual  effort  he  raised  a  company 
of  volunteers  in  Berkshire  County,  Massachusetts,  was  commis- 
sioned its  captain,  and  marched  as  far  as  Springfield,  drilling  his 
soldiers  with  thoroughness  through  the  winter.  "  For  the  supply 
of  his  Company  he  purchased,  with  his  (nun  funds,  one  hundred  and 
thirty-six  stands  of  Arms,  new;  clothed  them  with  regimentals — 
their  breeches  being  made  of  buckskin,  and  their  coats  of  blue, 


turned  up  with  white.  To  meet  these  costs,  Captain  Noble  sold 
two  farms  in  Stephenson,  N.  Y.,  and  one  or  two  farms  at  Pitts- 
field,  Mass.  On  being  paid  in  gold  for  the  land  at  Stephenson,  he 
went  to  Philadelphia  and  purchased  the  deer  skins,  or  leather,  and 
at  the  same  time  hired  a  breeches-maker,  and  '  the  breeches  '  says 
his  son,  'were  all  manufactured  at  our  house.'  " 

On  the  3ist  of  December,  1775,  he  marched  his  soldiers  from 
Pittsfield  to  Boston.  While  at  Cambridge  he  sent  for  all  the 
goods  that  would  answer  for  soldiers'  clothing,  both  linen  and 
woolens,  that  remained  in  his  dry  goods  store  at  home.  These 
were  promptly  forwarded  to  him.  "  We  had  harvested  at  home 
that  summer,"  writes  his  son, "thirty  acres  of  wheat,  which  was 
made  into  flour  and  sent  to  my  father  at  Cambridge,  all  except 
what  our  family  really  needed." 

After  the  evacuation  of  Boston  by  the  British  in  March,  1776, 
Captain  Noble  and  his  company  proceeded  to  Canada  for  the  pur- 
pose of  joining  Arnold.  The  defeat  of  the  latter  at  Quebec  com- 
pelled him  to  join  in  a  hasty  retreat,  retiring  to  Crown  Point, 
N.  Y.  Owing  to  the  scarcity  of  provisions  and  the  almost  insur- 
mountable difficulties  in  obtaining  them,  the  sufferings  and  pri- 
vations were  extreme. 

While  worn  down  by  fatigue,  and  suffering  from  the  effects  of 
unwholesome  food,  Captain  Noble  was  attacked,  while  at  Isle 
Aux  Noix,  with  the  smallpox,  which  was  then  ravaging  the 
soldiers.  He  was  removed  to  Crown  Point,  and  there,  in  less  than 
two  months,  this  self-sacrificing  patriot,  "  noble  by  nature  as  well 
as  by  name,"  passed  to  his  reward.  Captain  Noble  sacrificed  his 
entire  property,  as  well  as  his  life,  to  the  cause  of  American 

"  Our  joyful  hosts  to-day 
Their  grateful  tribute  pay — 

Happy  and  free, 
After  our  toils  and  fears, 
After  our  blood  and  tears, 
Strong  with  our  hundred  years — 

Oh,  Lord,  to  thee  !  "  l 

1  This  stanza  was  added  to  the  hymn  "  America,"  and  sung  at  the  Centennial  of  Washington's 
inauguration  in  New  York  City. — ED. 



Continued  front  chapter  xviii.  p.  100. 

Brewster  Higley,  ad,  Brewster,  ist,  Captain  John  Higley. 

By  Professor  Edwin  Hall  Higley 

The  strength  of  a  country  will  be  found  in  the  personal  character  and  individual  conscience 
that  exist  within  its  borders. — THOMAS  F.  BAYARD. 

BREWSTER  HIGLEY,  2d,  was  the  eldest  son  of  Brewster  Higley, 
ist,  and  the  grandson  of  Captain  John  Higley.  He  was  born 
December  12,  1709,  in  the  old  homestead  at  Simsbury,  Conn. 
When  twenty-five  years  old  he  married  Esther  Holcombe,  daughter 
of  John  Holcombe,  and  his  wife  Anne  (daughter  of  John  Petti- 
bone).  The  date  of  this  marriage,  as  recorded  in  the  Simsbury 
Record  Book,  was  March  13,  1734.  His  father  bought  for  him 
some  land  from  his  (Brewster,  ist's,)  half-brother  Nathaniel,  and 
on  this  land  the  old  colonial  house  here  illustrated  was  built,  where 
he  took  his  bride.  In  this  house  all  his  children  were  born,  and 
the  family  dwelt  here  until  after  the  death  of  his  father,  Brewster, 
ist,  in  1760.  Their  children,  whose  births  are  entered  in  the 
Simsbury  Record  Book,  were  as  follows  : 

Brewster  (3d),  born  March  3,  1734/5  ;  Hannah,  born  March  n, 
x736/7  ;  Joel,  born  January  i,  1739  ;  Esther,  born  September  19, 
1743;  Seth,  born  October  29,  1746;  Huldah,  born  February  i, 
1749,  Enoch,  born  August  25,  1754. 

Owing  to  the  distribution  and  division  of  property  among  the 
increasing  kindred,  Brewster,  2d,  seems  to  have  begun  life  with  a 
more  limited  worldly  estate  than  his  father  possessed.  He  was  a 
man  of  ardent  temperament,  great  industry,  and  fidelity.  He  in- 
herited much  of  his  father's  skill  in  medical  and  surgical  practice, 
and  was  often  called  upon  as  an  expert  in  extracting  teeth  and 
setting  fractured  bones;  and  he  gained  so  much  reputation  in  such 
matters  that  "he  was  recognized  by  the  best  surgeons  in  Hart- 
ford County  to  be  a  safe  and  prudent  operator  in  such  cases." 
Thus  wrote  his  grandson,  Erastus  Higley. 

An  event  of  great  importance  in  his  personal  life  was  his  re- 








Pi     Q 

O      Q 

Q    ^ 


ligious  conversion,  which  occurred  in  1740,  during  the  visit  to  this 
country  of  the  famous  preacher  and  revivalist,  George  Whitefield. 
Whitefield  preached  in  New  England  during  September  and  Octo- 
ber, 1740.  About  the  middle  of  October  he  came  to  Northhamp- 
ton,  where  the  great  influence  of  Jonathan  Edwards  was  still  felt. 
From  thence  he  proceeded  toward  New  York,  preaching  to  great 
throngs  wherever  he  stopped.  He  preached  at  all  the  principal 
towns  on  his  route,  including  Windsor,  Hartford,  and  New  Haven, 
Conn.  At  this  time  Brewster  Higley  heard  him,  and  became 
ardent  and  zealous  in  his  religious  faith  and  practice.  According 
to  one  account,  "he  accompanied  Whitefield  from  Simsbury  to 
Boston."  But  as  Whitefield  came  to  Boston,  via  Rhode  Island,  by 
ship  from  Charleston,  S.  C.,  and  visited  Connecticut  on  the  way  to 
New  York,  as  above  stated,  it  is  probable  that  Brewster  Higley 
either  first  heard  him  in  Boston,  and  accompanied  him  from  Boston 
to  Simsbury,  or  made  the  visit  to  Boston  in  connection  with  some 
later  religious  gathering.  The  religious  interest  continued  to  be 
felt  very  deeply  throughout  New  England  for  several  years  after 
Whitefield 's  visit,  and  great  revivals  of  religion  prevailed,  especially 
in  Connecticut,  in  the  years  1740,  1741,  and  1742.  Among  the 
ministers  who  are  mentioned  as  "  most  zealous  and  laborious  in 
the  cause,  who  took  most  pains  and  spent  the  most  property  in 
the  service,"  were  Rev.  Jedediah  Mills,  brother-in-law  to  Elizabeth 
Higley  Mills.  Mr.  Whitefield  arrived  in  Boston  again  in  the 
autumn  of  1744,  and  again  advanced  through  Connecticut  to  New 
York,  "preaching  twice  a  day,  generally  to  thousands."  It  may 
have  been  then  that  Brewster  Higley  accompanied  him.  From 
this  time  he  was  always  active  and  prominent  in  religious 
matters.  He  became  a  deacon  in  the  church,  an  office  which  has 
been  held  continuously  by  some  one  of  his  descendants  down  to 
the  fifth  generation.  The  distinct  devotion  to  the  cause  of 
religion  which  he  manifested  at  this  time  marks  a  new  epoch  in 
the  history  of  the  family. 

The  records  of  the  Simsbury  religious  society  show  his  con- 
nection with  the  work  and  welfare  of  the  church  throughout  all  his 
remaining  years.  In  1753  and  1754  a  disagreement  arose  between 
a  majority  of  the  society  and  their  pastor,  Rev.  Gideon  Mills,  who 
had  married  Brewster  Higley's  sister  Elizabeth.  The  list  of 
names  of  those  who  voted  against  the  continuance  of  Mr.  Mills 
as  pastor  contains  that  of  "Brewster  Higley  Jun.,"  who  thus 
took  sides  against  his  sister's  husband.  The  precise  grounds  of 


his  action  in  this  matter  are  not  known,  but  the  incident  may  be 
taken  as  evidence  that  he  subordinated  his  personal  feelings  and 
interests  to  his  convictions  of  right  and  duty. 

At  the  ordination  of  the  Rev.  Benajah  Roots,  June  27,  1757 
(successor  to  Rev.  Gideon  Mills),  among  those  nominated  to 
"keep  houses  of  entertainment"  was  "  Sergt.  Brewster  Higley 
Junr."  In  1768,  in  a  report  upon  the  "Seating  of  ye  Meeting," 
when  Mrs.  Esther  Higley,  widow  of  Brewster,  ist,  was  assigned 
to  pew  i.,  the  place  of  chief  distinction,  her  son  "  Ensn-  Brewster 
Higley"  was  seated  directly  behind  her.  From  1760  to  1764 
Ensign  Brewster  Higley  was  chosen  one  of  the  prudential  com- 
mittee of  the  society.  He  was  moderator  of  the  society's 
meeting  in  1763.  In  1777  he  was  one  of  a  committee  to  "treat 
with  Mr.  Samuel  Stebbins  and  invite  him  in  the  name  and  behalf 
of  said  society  to  preach  the  gospel  with  us  for  the  future  as 
a  probationer,  in  order  to  settle  with  us  in  the  Gospel  Ministry." 
In  1778,  at  a  meeting  in  November,  Ensign  Brewster  Higley 
with  others  (named)  were  appointed  a  committee  to  confer  with 
the  minister,  "Mr.  Samuel  Stebbins,  how  to  compute  the  present 
currency  of  the  country,  or  Continental  Bills,  with  the  agree- 
ment made  with  him  at  the  time  of  his  settlement  in  the  ministry 
of  this  Society." 

Among  the  questions  which  greatly  agitated  the  churches  of 
New  England  at  this  time  was  the  condition  of  psalmody,  or 
church  music.  For  more  than  a  century  after  the  coming  of  the 
Mayflower,  the  only  music  known  in  public  worship  consisted  of 
the  few  psalm  tunes  brought  over  by  the  first  settlers.  These 
tunes  were  sung  by  rote,  that  is,  without  musical  notation,  and 
from  memory.  Consequently  in  the  lapse  of  years  great  varia- 
tions in  the  method  of  singing  developed  themselves  in  different 
places,  and  often  the  singing  had  degenerated  into  a  formless 
droning  which  was  distressing  and  intolerable  to  those  of  intelli- 
gence and  musical  feeling.  Efforts  at  reform  were  made  by 
some  of  the  ministers  and  others  who  recognized  the  extent  of 
this  evil.  But,  in  combating  the  evil,  the  reformers  were  often 
led  to  the  other  extreme,  and  introduced  music  of  a  flippant  and 
artificial  character,  which  contrasted  too  strongly  with  the 
solemn,  though  untuneful,  strains  of  the  older  tradition.  Thus 
two  parties  were  formed  who  became  bitter  antagonists,  the  one 
sticking  for  rote,  the  other  for  note,  and  the  irrepressible  conflict 
between  the  new  and  the  old,  the  conservative  and  the  radical, 


raged  in  every  town  over  this  issue.  Probably  the  solemn 
religious  earnestness  of  Brewster  Higley  moved  him  to  take  the 
conservative  side.  Very  likely  the  opposing -party  was  often 
filled  with  a  zeal  without  knowledge.  The  society  Records 
report  the  following  interesting  incident,  showing  Brewster 
Higley's  position  on  this  question:  "1773.  April. — Voted  to 
sing  on  the  Lord's  days  in  the  afternoon  according  to  the  rules 
taught  in  the  Singing  Schools  in  this  and  the  neighboring 
counties."  Soon  after  this  a  teacher  of  music  was  employed. 
After  practising  some  time  he  appeared  with  his  scholars  in 
church  on  a  Sunday,  and  the  minister  having  announced  the 
psalm,  the  choir,  under  the  instructor's  lead,  started  with  a 
tune  much  more  lively  than  the  congregation  were  accustomed 
to  hear.  Upon  which  one  of  the  Deacons,  Brewster  Higley,  took 
his  hat  and  left  the  house,  exclaiming  as  he  passed  down  the 
aisle,  "Popery!  Popery!" 

His  interest  was  not  entirely  taken  up,  however,  by  church 
matters.  Shortly  after  1760  (when  his  father  died)  he  returned 
to  the  old  homestead  of  Captain  John  Higley,  where  he  took  care 
of  his  widowed  mother  until  her  death,  December  7,  1775.  Here 
he  lived  for  the  rest  of  his  life.  He  carried  on  a  saw-mill,  and 
a  cider-mill  and  distillery,  which  stood  near  the  original  site  of 
the  barn  on  Captain  John's  farm.  Judged  by  more  recent  stan- 
dards, this  latter  industry  seems  inconsistent  with  the  religious 
convictions  which  he  professed.  But  at  that  time  the  drinking 
habits  of  the  New  England  settlers  were  strongly  developed,  and 
the  religious  propriety  of  the  traffic  in  stimulating  beverages 
was  unquestioned.  "Drinking,"  says  Edward  Eggleston,  "was 
universal.  The  birth  of  a  child,  the  taking  of  a  piece  of  land, 
the  induction  of  a  new  minister,  an  election  of  officers,  the 
assembling  of  a  court,  weddings,  funerals,  auctions,  arrivals 
and  departures,  and  even  religious  meetings  in  private  houses, 
were  occasions  for  drinking."  Deacon  Brewster's  liquor  was 
evidently  popular  in  the  community,  and  that  it  was  largely  con- 
sumed among  his  own  kin  is  shown  by  the  entries  in  his  old 
account  book.  Under  date  of  September  20th,  1775,  is  the 
following  "true  account  Concerning  Creditors  bringing  Cider 
to  the  Still": 







Brewster  Higley  

Wid  Esther  Higley  

Wid  Esther  Higley               

Seth  H  igley  


These  entries  occur  among  the  names  of  other  neighbors,  and 
show  not  only  the  bibulous  tastes,  but  the  numerical  growth  of 
the  kindred.  It  was  at  this  time  that  the  section  of  Simsbury 
where  Brewster  and  others  resided  was  regularly  known  as 
Higlty-town,  and  so  recorded  on  the  map. 

On  the  28th  of  June,  1774,  Brewster's  wife,  Esther,  died,  aged 
fifty-nine  years.  She  was  married  when  nineteen  years  old,  and 
had  been  his  wife  for  forty  years. 

In  the  following  year,  Brewster  Higley  married  the  widow 
Mindwell  Bull  of  Hartford,  the  date  of  the  marriage  being 
January  5,  1775.  She  was  the  mother  of  Amos  Bull,  a  noted 
singing-master  and  composer  of  tunes.  A  minute  marriage- 
settlement,  signed  and  sealed  by  Brewster  Higley  and  Mindwell 
Bull,  is  contained  in  the  Simsbury  Town  Records.  In  it  is  the 
agreement  that  in  consideration  of  property  to  the  value  of  five 
pounds  which  the  widow  was  to  bring  into  Brewster's  family 
"for  the  benefit  of  said  family,"  she  should  receive  back  the 
the  value  of  the  same,  in  case  she  survived  her  husband,  and  that 
"all  the  Dower  she  shall  have  right  or  claim  to  out  of  the  sd 
Brewster's  estate  shall  be  the  use  of  the  lower  North  Room  in 
the  house  he  now  lives  in  and  four  '  pound '  in  money  annually,  so 
long  as  the  said  Mindwell  remains  the  widow  of  the  aforesaid 
Brewster  and  for  no  longer  a  term  of  time." 

Brewster  Higley,  2d,  like  his  father  and  his  grandfather,  was  in 
the  military  service  of  the  State.  An  entry  in  the  Connecticut 
Colonial  Records  reads:  "March  1758. — This  Assembly  do 
establish  Mr.  Brewster  Higley  to  be  Ensign  of  the  First  Com- 
pany of  the  Train  Band  in  the  Town  of  Simsbury."  The  designa- 
tion "Mr."  in  this  appointment  is  evidence  that  he  was  then 
esteemed  a  person  of  social  importance,  which  is  further  wit- 
nessed by  the  address,  "Brewster  Higley,  Gentleman"  contained 
in  his  commission  during  the  Revolutionary  period,  signed  by  his 


cousin  Governor  Trumbull,  September  25,  1777.'  His  son  Brew- 
ster,  3d,  was  also  commissioned  in  the  army,  and  served  at  Sara- 
toga and  elsewhere  during  a  large  part  of  the  same  year. 

On  December  21,  1761,  he  was  chosen  leather  sealer  of  the 
town,  and  was  re-elected  every  year  until  1772. 

In  1777  "  Brewster  Higley  2d"  was  chosen  one  of  a  "Com- 
mittee to  take  care  of  schooling  and  'sit'  up  schools  in  the 
several  Districts  for  the  year  ensuing."  Brewster,  2d,  often 
expressed  regret  that  he  had  not  received  a  better  education  in 
his  youth.  This  regret  was  uttered  in  connection  with  his  desire 
to  engage  more  fully  in  public  religious  effort.  His  handwriting 
is  less  fine  and  clear  than  that  of  his  son,  but  there  is  no  reason 
to  suppose  that  he  was  especially  lacking  in  culture  for  that  time. 
His  expressed  regret  is  rather  a  proof  of  his  appreciation  of 
learning  than  an  evidence  of  his  lack  of  it. 

Under  the  will  of  his  mother,  the  Widow  Esther  Higley,  "her 
son  Ensign  Brewster  Higley  "  was  appointed  the  executor  of  her 

Brewster  Higley,  2d,  died  March  21,  1794,  aged  eighty-four 
years,  three  months,  and  nine  days.  His  will  was  received  and 
accepted  by  the  court,  March  31,  1794.  The  will  was  written  June 
21,  1793,  and  disposed  of  property  inventoried  at  ^946  145.  2d. 
In  the  list  are  the  following  articles,  which  show  him  to  have 
taken  pains  to  attire  himself  as  became  a  person  of  consequence: 

Best  great  coat,  valued  at  £\  145.  :  coats,  black  and  brown  ;  vest  and  breeches, 
black,  brown,  and  gray  ;  worsted  stockings,  blue  and  gray  ;  best  linen  shirts  ; 
"three  checked  shirts  ;  wool  shirts  ;  another  linen  shirt  ;  shoes  and  old  boots  ;  black 

1  Jonathan   Trumbull,  Esquire,  Captain-General  and  Commander  in  Chief,  of  the  State  of 

Connecticut  in  A  merica  : 
To  BRKWSTER  HIGLEY,  2ND,  Gentleman. 


or  other  your  superior  Officers,  according  to  the  Rules  and  Discipline  of  War,  ordained  and  estab 
lished  by  the  Laws  of  the  State  aforesaid,  pursuant  to  the  Trust  reposed  in  you. 

Given  under  my  Hand  and   Seal,   At  Arms,    at   Lebanon   the  25   Day   of  September,  Ann 
Domini  1777. 


By  his  Excellency's  Command 




handkerchief  ;  silver  shoe  buckles,  silver  knee  buckles,  valued  at  8s.  each  ;  5^ 
yards  of  mixed  colored  cloth  ;  7^  yards  of  wool  shirting,  valued  at  155.  ;  one 
Bible  ;  Watt's  Hymns  ;  spelling  book,  etc.,  etc. 

Lieutenant  Joel  Higley  and  Enoch  Higley  are  recorded  by  the 
Court  of  Probate  as  executors  of  the  estate..  The  will  begins  with 
a  sort  of  declaration  of  his  faith  as  follows  : 

"  Being  advanced  in  years  and  in  the  84th  year  of  my  age,  and  calling  to  mind 
the  mortality  of  my  body  and  that  it  is  appointed  for  all  men  to  die  and  after 
death  to  come  to  judgement.  .  . 

"  First  of  all  I  recommend  my  soul  into  the  hands  of  God  who  gave  it,  and  my 
body  to  the  Earth  to  be  buried  in  a  decent  and  Christian  manner,  nothing  doubting 
but  I  shall  receive  the  same  again  by  the  mighty  power  of  God.  .  ." 

He  then  bequeaths  to 

"  My  loving  wife  Mindwell,  a  garden  plot  of  half  an  acre  of  plow  lands  in  the 
most  convenient  place  near  my  dwelling,  also,  a  third  part  of  my  cellar  with  liberty 
to  pass  to  and  from  the  same,  and  the  well,  for  her  use  and  benefit,  with  liberty  of 
cutting  fire-wood  enough  to  support  a  fire  for  her  own  benefit,  and  liberty  to  pas- 
ture one  cow  on  the  farme,  and  liberty  to  cut  two  loads  of  hay  in  my  meadow  an- 
nually during  her  natural  life,  with  what  I  gave  her  by  a  marriage  settlement  as  by 
a  written  agreement  may  appear  is  to  be  in  full  of  her  Dowery  in  my  estate.  Also 
liberty  to  put  her  hay  in  my  North  barn  and  stable  for  a  cow  in  winter." 

He  then  makes  bequests  of  lands  to  his  sons,  giving  location 
and  boundaries,  and  also  gives  bequests  to  his  daughters. 

For  the  descendants  of  Breiaster  Higley,  2d,  see  the  following  pages . 



Brewster  Higley,  3d,  Brewster,  2d,  Brewster,  ist,  Captain  John  Higley. 
By  Emma  L.  Higley  of  Middlebury,  Vt. 

To  belong  to  a  family  which  has  earned  well-deserved  respect :  to  be  able  to  look  back  upon 
forefathers  who  have  lived  well  and  bravely  :  this  is  indeed  a  birthright  worth  having.  An  inheri- 
tance of  money  may  or  may  not  be  a  desirable  thing,  an  inheritance  of  character,  an  ancestry  of 
generous,  true-hearted  men  who  did  justly,  loved  mercy,  and  walked  humbly  with  their  God,  this 
is  a  thing  that  kings  might  covet.— EDNA  LYALL. 

BREWSTER  HIGLEY,  3d,  the  first  Higley  of  Castleton,  Vt,  was 
born  at  Simsbury,  Conn.,  on  the  i4th  of  March,  1735.  He  was 
the  eldest  child  of  Deacon  Brewster  Higley,  2d  (page  162). 

Little  of  -his  boyhood  and  youth  is  known.  The  composition 
and  well-formed  handwriting  give  evidence  of  an  early  educa- 
tional training.  His  good  father  so  lamented  his  own  limited 
education  that  he  was  doubtless  prompted  by  his  own  deficiencies 
to  give  his  sons  better  advantages. 

In  the  days  when  young  men  were  modest  and  kept  in  the 
background  unless  possessed  of  unusual  ability,  we  find  Brewster, 
3d,  appointed  to  the  offices  of  constable  and  collector  of 
rates  at  the  age  of  twenty-four.  I  have  in  my  possession  the 
rate  book  of  Simsbury  first  Society,  Salmon-Brook,  Turkey-Hills, 
and  Wintonbury,  besides  cider-mill,  saw-mill,  and  farm  account 
books,  which  give  evidence  of  Brewster,  3d's,  early  aptitude  in 
business  affairs.  These  are  duly  registered  with  the  minutest 
accuracy,  and  some  racy  observations  and  aspirations  are  sand- 
wiched among  the  dry  figures. 

He  married  at  the  age  of  twenty-two,  the  fact  of  which  is  set 
forth  in  the  Town  Records  of  Simsbury,  thus: 

"  Aprill  7,  A.  D.  1757.  Brewster  Higley  the  3d,  son  of  Brewster  Higley  the  2d, 
and  Esther  Owen,  Daughter  of  John  Owen  and  Esther  his  wife,  were  Joined  in 
marriage  by  John  Humphery  Esqr.  Their  grandfather's  name  is  Brewster  Higley 
and  Grandmother's  name  is  Esther.  Their  father's  name  is  Brewster  Higley 
and  mother's  name  is  Esther,  so  that  there  are  three  generations  from  Grand- 
father and  Grandmother  down  to  Grandson  and  grand-daughter,  all  of  one  name 



for  male,  and  one  name  for  female — Three  generations  are  now  living.     May  the 
Divine  blessing  rest  on  them  and  theirs  to  the  latest  posterity." ' 

The  father  of  the  bride,  Deacon  John  Owen,  was  at  that  time 
the  town  clerk,  and  made  the  record. 

They  settled  at  Simsbury,  where  they  resided  for  twenty-two 
years,  then  removed  to  Castleton,  Vt. 

Is  it  in  answer  to  the  above  benediction  that  the  Castleton 
branch  of  Higleys  counts  fifty  members  on  the  Castleton  church 
roll,  a  dozen  of  whom  entered  the  ministry,  three  were  mis- 
sionaries, and  eight  were  among  its  twenty-three  deacons  ? 

I  must  call  special  attention  to  these  deacons,  four  generations 
in  unbroken  succession  having  served  the  church  from  Brewster 
Higley,  3d,  elected  in  1793,  down  to  this  present  year  (1890),  when 
its  senior  and  junior  deacons  now  serving  are  his  great-grandsons, 
grandsons  of  the  grandson  of  Deacon  John  Owen  and  Deacon 
Brewster  Higley,  2d,  of  the  Simsbury  church. 

Captain  John  Higley's  account  book  finally  fell  in  succession 
to  his  great-grandson  Brewster,  3d,  and  it  was  in  blank  leaves  left 
unused  in  this  book  that  he  kept  his  muster  roll  under  various 
dates.  He  served  as  clerk  of  the  town  military  or  train-band, 
and  carefully  preserved  in  another  book  is  his  commission  as 
ensign,  dated  September  25,  1777,  bearing  the  signature  of  his 
kinsman,  Governor  Jonathan  Trumbull.8  Among  his  papers  is 
also  found  a  record  of  service  in  the  campaign  that  compelled 
Burgoyne's  surrender  in  1777. 

He  may  have  been  one  of  the  fifty  Connecticut  men  who  joined 
the  military  company  of  his  town  under  Captain  Noah  Phelps  of 
Simsbury,  and  came  with  the  expedition  led  by  Colonel  Benedict 
Arnold  to  Castleton,  where  soon  after  a  council  of  war  was  held 
on  the  village  green,  which  resulted  in  the  successful  attack  upon 
Ticonderoga  -the  following  day  under  command  of  the  indomni- 
table  Colonel  Ethan  Allen. 

Was  it  during  this  campaign,  when  associated  with  the  Vermont 
troops,  that  he  decided  to  emigrate  to  Vermont? 

His  son,  Brewster  Higley,  4th,  had  served  under  Colonel  Ethan 
Allen  in  the  Vermont  militia  the  winter  of  1778.  It  is  altogether 
probable  that  these  circumstances  introduced  Brewster,  3d,  and 
his  son  to  the  fine  tracts  of  tillable  lands  in  the  western  part  of 

1  "  Simsbury  Records,"  book  iii.  p.  269. 

'  Whether  there  were  two  commissions  given  bearing  this  date,  one  to  the  father  and  one  to  the 
son,  seems  somewhat  obscure.  The  commission  to  Brewster  Higley,  ad,  page  167,  is  an  exact  copy 
of  the  original  document. — ED. 


the  Green  Mountain  State,  and  suggested  the  advisability  of 
now  removing  thither. 

The  deed  of  conveyance  to  Ensign  Brewster  Higley  of  a  farm 
of  323  acres  in  Castleton,  bears  date  October,  1778.  Twelve 
hundred  pounds  was  the  price  paid  for  this  home  in  the 
wilderness,  the  next  year  after  Burgoyne's  invasion.  The  land 
was  purchased  from  Ephraim  Buel,  and  was  "bounded  on  the 
north  by  Whitlock  Hill,  and  on  the  south  by  Gershom  Lake's 
farm."  There  was  standing  on  it  a  rude  log  cabin. 

In  May,  1779,  Brewster,  3d,  and  his  family  took  possession  of 
this  new  home.  The  father,  forty-four  years  of  age,  in  the  prime 
of  his  strong  manhood,  six  feet  tall,  broad-shouldered,  high  fore- 
head, high  cheek  bones,  keen  gray  eyes,  stern  and  grave  face,  but 
with  a  tender  heart  of  which  he  was  a  bit  ashamed.  The  mother 
was  forty,  a  noble  woman,  and  just  such  a  character  as  might  be 
expected  of  the  daughter  of  Deacon  John  Owen;  the  eldest  son, 
Brewster ;  4th,  was  now  twenty;  then  came  four  daughters: 
Louisa,  a  brave,  bright-witted  and  intelligent  girl  of  seventeen; 
Annie,  the  timid  one  of  the  band,  aged  fifteen;  Zilpah,  who  was 
thirteen;  Delight,  aged  ten  years;  Erastus,  the  second  son,  a  boy 
of  seven;  Esther,  a  child  of  four  years;  and  lola,  a  yearling  baby. 
Two  other  daughters,  Harley  and  Zeruah,  were  born  in  Castleton 
after  the  removal  of  the  family  from  Simsbury. 

On  setting  out  for  Vermont  the  family  goods  and  chattels 
were  packed  in  ox-carts,  Mrs.  Higley  and  Louisa  riding  on 
horseback,  carrying  the  babe  and  younger  children  in  arms, 
and  on  pillions  behind.  The  elder  children  walked  with  their 
father  and  two  nephews  who  accompanied  them,  Amasa  Alford 
and  John  Case. 

At  one  stage  of  the  long  journey,  when  the  roads  became  almost 
impassable  for  the  loaded  carts,  Brewster,  3d,  sent  his  son  on 
ahead  with  the  mother  and  children  to  the  end  planned  for  that 
day's  journey,  and  to  bring  back  the  horses  to  help  with  the  loads. 
But  after  they  had  gone  his  imagination  suggested  so  many 
possible  perils,  that  he  walked  the  entire  night  and  overtook  the 
party  just  as  they  were  mounting  their  horses  for  the  next  day's 
journey.  Louisa  was  the  first  to  descry  her  father  through  the 
thick  forest,  and  was  fond  of  relating  in  after  years  how  her  heart 
was  lightened  as  she  saw  him  leaping  from  one  fallen  log  to 
another,  and  answered  her  cheery  "Hallo!" 

In  June,  after  their  arrival,  the  account  book  opens  with  the 
following  entries  : 



June,  1779 

To  two  Bushel  of  Wheat,1 

To  two   pounds  of  hog  fat,  old  way,. . . 

to  Nine  pounds  and  half  of  flower 

to  four  pounds  flower, 

To  one  week  Spinning,  old  way 

to  Spinning  Six  Runs  and  half  of  yarn, 

Under  another  date  we  find  this  significant  entry  : 
"  To  four  shillings  cash  for  wolves." 

Our  most  vivid  imagination  can  scarcely  realize  the  deep 
wilderness  to  which  they  had  come. 

The  old  well  and  a  spice-apple  tree  are  all  that  now  (1893) 
remain  on  the  spot  of  this  first  home  which  they  occupied. 

Judge  John  Owen's  diary  contains  the  following  record  : 

"  June  3,  1780  :  Heard  by  Mr.  Mason  from  Castleton  that  my  son-in-law  Higley 
and  his  wife,  my  daughter,  and  family,  are  all  well  and  not  much  concerned  about 
ye  Enemie." 

But  all  the  while  they  were  in  danger  from  foraging  parties  of 
British  tories  and  Indians,  whose  coming  was  of  frequent  occur- 
rence from  the  military  posts  on  Lake  Champlain. 

Castleton  Fort  was  on  the  frontier,  near  the  thoroughfare  for 
military  expeditions  during  the  War  of  the  Revolution.  This  fort 
was  ten  miles  south  of  the  old  road  from  No.  4,  the  old  French 
war  highway  to  Fort  Ticonderoga,  and  twelve  miles  east  of 
Skeenesboro  (now  Whitehall,  N.  H. ),  at  the  south  end  of  Lake 

One  foraging  party  slept  one  night  on  the  kitchen  floor,  while 
Mrs.  Higley  and  her  daughters  worked  all  the  night  through 
baking  bread  for  them,  finding  it  difficult  to  pass  from  the  mold- 
ing board  to  the  brick  oven  without  stepping  on  one  of  the  men. 

One  day  word  came  from  the  fort  that  a  skirmishing  party  was 
approaching.  The  family  packed  in  hot  haste.  The  horses  were 
loaded  with  the  children,  feather  beds,  blankets,  silver  spoons, 
and  other  valuables,  and  led  off  toward  the  settlement  at  Poultney 
for  safety;  and  colts,  calves,  pigs,  and  chickens  were  coaxed  to  a 
hiding-place.  My  grandfather,  the  little  boy  of  the  family,  hid 
his  half  bushel  of  nuts  where  he  was  sure  "the  British"  could  not 

1  The  entry  of  "  fifteen  pounds  "  as  the  price  of  the  wheat  is  in  very  clear  figures  in  the  old 
account  book,  and  though  the  country  was  at  that  time  a  wilderness  the  Editor  thinks  there  must 
be  a  mistake  in  the  figures. 


find  them ;  and  when  the  danger  was  past,  and  the  scattered  family 
was  at  home  again,  he  was  much  grieved  to  find  them  missing. 
The  father  looked  at  the  hiding-place  and  said  :  "Squirrels,  not 
British,  this  time,  my  son." 

Another  such  rumor  one  dark  night  caused  timid  Annie  to 
spring  from  her  bed  and  rush  with  her  little  sister  Esther  (after- 
ward Mrs.  Sylvanus  Guernsey)  to  the  woods.  They  crouched 
low  behind  a  big  log  and  shivered  with  cold  and  fear  till  daylight, 
when  their  brother's  cheery  whistle,  as  he  hunted  for  them, 
assured  them  the  danger  was  over  for  that  time. 

In  the  spring  of  1782  the  rumors  of  a  fresh  invasion  from 
Canada  assumed  such  definite  shape  that  it  was  decided  to  send 
Mrs.  Higley  and  Mrs.  Lake,  a  neighbor,  with  the  young  children 
in  ox-carts  to  Connecticut,  to  stay  till  the  trouble  was  over. 
Brewster,  4th,  was  now  a  member  of  the  garrison  at  the  fort. 
Annie  went  to  Poultney,  spinning,  to  pay  for  her  board.  Louisa 
volunteered  to  remain  and  keep  house  for  her  father.  She  was 
regardless  of  fear.  She  earned  a  barrel  of  flour  that  summer  by 
baking  bread  for  the  garrison.  Hiland  Hall,  in  his  lectures  on 
the  "Forts  of  Vermont,"  tells  how  "the  commandant  spent  his 
evenings  at  Mr.  Brewster  Higley's  quite  often,  and  one  night 
remained  so  late  that  he  was  locked  out."  This  story  fits  with  a 
family  tradition,  that  "a  commandant  at  the  fort  stole  away  the 
heart  of  the  fair  Louise,  and  then  marched  away  and  forgot  her." 
This  explains  her  bravery  in .  being  left  behind  when  the  family 
took  flight. 

The  coming  of  a  man  to  the  .little  new  settlement  of  so  much 
intelligence,  property,  and  executive  ability  as  Brewster  Higley, 
3d,  was  duly  appreciated  by  his  townsmen.  We  find  him  at  once 
appointed  to  various  offices  :  serving  as  moderator,  justice  of  the 
peace,  town  clerk,  on  a  committee  to  secure  a  minister,  on 
another  to  arrange  for  a  singing-school,  and  attending  to  duties 
in  drawing  up  petitions  to  the  General  Assembly,  resolutions, 
etc.,  etc.  The  original  drafts  of  some  of  these  papers  are  still  in 
our  possession. 

In  the  year  1784  the  church  was  organized,  and  two  years  later 
the  parish  was  in  a  state  of  contention  over  the  location  of  the 
meeting-house.  Brewster  Higley,  3d,  exercised  a  controlling 
influence  in  the  church,  as  he  did  in  all  town  matters,  for  more 
than  twenty-five  years.  In  the  matter  now  to  be  settled,  he  put 
an  end  to  the  contention  by  donating  the  land  for  a  church,  with 


a  churchyard  attached.  He  also  gave  the  village  green  in  front 
of  it.  A  few  years  later  he  donated  another  lot  of  land  lying 
opposite  the  church  for  a  military  parade  ground. 

As  justice  of  the  peace  it  became  his  duty  to  solemnize  mar- 
riages. Between  the  years  1781  and  1792,  thirty-four  at  which 
he  officiated  are  upon  his  record  book;  also  copies  of  the  prayers 
which  he  offered  before  and  after  the  ceremony. 

As  Brewster  Higley  advanced  in  years,  and  his  strength  failed, 
he  gave  up  the  care  of  the  mills  and  the  farm  to  his  son  Erastus. 
But  he  continued  to  take  special  pride  and  pleasure  in  his  garden, 
with  its  apple,  cherry,  and  plum  trees,  Connecticut  grapes, 
asparagus,  artichokes,  etc.,  some  of  which  were  still  growing 
within  my  memory.  He  enjoyed  the  church,  which  was  near  at 
hand,  and  its  means  of  grace,  the  rapidly  improving  State,  town, 
and  country  roundabout  ;  his  increasing  family  of  grandchildren, 
and  the  visits  of  his  children,  their  letters  and  the  letters  from 
his  relatives  and  friends  at  the  old  Connecticut  home  of  his 
younger  years. 

And  so  he  grew  mellow  and  ripened  for  his  heavenly  home, 
which  he  peacefully  entered  one  early  spring  day  at  the  age  of 
seventy  years. 

He  was  interred  in  the  burial  ground  in  Castleton,  near  the 
church  he  loved. 

His  tombstone  is  thus  inscribed  : 

Beacon  JSrewgter 
THHas  born  in  Slmeburg  (Conn.) 
flfcarcb  14tb  a.  5).  1735. 
2>feo  Bpril  lltb  1805. 

"  We  mount  the  stage  of  life, 

Prove  actors  in  the  scene, 
Soon  close  the  short  account 

Of  three  score  years  and  ten  ; 
But  when  the  trumpet's  sound 

Awakes  the  sleeping  dust, 
Eternal  youth  will  crown, 

The  triumph  of  the  just." 

Esther  Owen  Higley,  the  wife  of  Brewster  Higley,  3d,  who  was 
born  October  27,  1739,  lived  to  the  age  of  seventy-three.  Her 
death  took  place  September  28,  1812. 

Her  oldest  living  grandchild  remembers  her  as  much  enfeebled 
and  bowed  with  age  during  the  last  years  of  her  life. 


She  was  of  a  kindly,  gentle  temperament,  and  held  the  warm 
affections  of  her  family  and  neighbors.  Long  after  she  was  gone 
from  earth,  her  daughters  talked  of  her  memory  in  much  loving 
respect  and  affection. 

For  the  descendants  of  Brewster  Higley,  $d,  and  their  families  see  chapters 
xxxvi,  xxxvii,  and  xxxviii. 



Continued  from  page  162. 
Hannah,  Brewster  2d,  Brewster,  ist,  Captain  John  Higley. 

All  long-known  objects,  even  a  mere  window-fastening  or  a  particular  door-latch,  have  sounds 
which  are  a  sort  of  recognized  voice  to  us — a  voice  that  will  thrill  and  awaken,  when  it  has  been 
used  to  touch  deep-lying  fibers. —  The  Mill  on  the  Floss. 

HANNAH  HIGLEY,  the  eldest  daughter  and  second  child  of 
Brewster  Higley,  2d,  and  Esther  Holcombe,  his  wife,  was  born 
March  n,  1737. 

Her  first  marriage,  which  took  place  about  1756,  was  with  Elijah 
Alford,  who  was  one  of  the  first  settlers  of  Becket,  Mass.  They 
resided  at  Becket  till  the  death  of  Mr.  Alford,  which  occurred 
January  16,  1771,  leaving  her  a  widow  with  a  family  of  young 
children.  The  inventory  of  his  property  amounted  to  ^"493  35. 

The  following  is  upon  the  records  of  the  ancient  Becket 
church  : 

"  August  ye  4th  1771.  Then  was  admitted  to  full  communion  with  this  church 
ye  widow  Hannah  Alford." 

On  the  5th  of  the  month,  the  day  following,  the  Rev.  Zadoc 
Hunn  records : 

"  I  baptized  Elijah,  'Asel,'  Abner,  Amasa,  and  Hannah,  ye  children  of  ye  widow 
Hannah  Alford." 

On  the  7th  of  May,  1775,  tne  "  Intentions  of  Mairiage  of  James 
Gaines  of  Boston  with  the  Widow  Hannah  Alford"  were  pub- 
lished and  placed  upon  record.  It  was  customary  in  those  days 
to  make  public  proclamation  of  a  matrimonial  contract.  No 
record  of  this  marriage  is  discoverable.  But  by  this  union  Mrs. 
Alford  had  one  child  who  was  named  James  Gaines. 

She  afterward  removed  with  her  family  to  Castleton,  Vt,  proba- 
bly with  a  desire  to  live  near  her  brother,  Deacon  Brewster 
Higley,  3d.  Here  she  married,  September  23,  1784,  Seth  Porter; 
her  brother  performing  the  marriage  ceremony.  Seth  Porter, 



an  excellent  and  upright  citizen,  was  living  in  1799.  The  date 
of  his  death  has  not  been  ascertained.  Mrs.  Porter  spent  the 
remainder  of  her  life  at  Castleton.  She  was  administered  to, 
during  her  old  age,  by  her  son,  James  Gaines,  to  whom  she  left 
by  her  will  all  of  her  property.  She  died  January  27,  1823,  in  the 
eighty-seventh  year  of  her  age. 

The  children  of  Elijah  and  Hannah  (Higley)  Alford  were  as 

Elijah,  born  April  13,  1757;  Asahel,  born  November  22,  1760; 
Amasa,  born  September  17,  1762,  died,  1764;  Abner,  born,  June 

29,  1767;  Amasa,  born  September  n,  1764;  Amos,  born  January 
25,  1769,  died,  September  n,   1769,  and  Hannah,  born  May   14, 

ELIJAH  ALFORD,  JR.,  the  oldest  son,  born  April  13,  1757; 
married,  October  n,  1779,  Olive  Higley,  the  widow  of  his 
cousin,  Micah  Higley,  who  met  his  death  by  accidental  shooting 
the  preceding  December.  They  united  with  the  Becket  church, 
March  12,  1786.  He  was  a  man  of  sound,  substantial  character, 
and  about  the  beginning  of  the  present  century  was  useful  in 
church  matters  and  prominent  in  public  affairs.  He  served  the 
town  of  Becket,  Mass.,  as  surveyor,  1805,  as  juror,  1806,  and 
was  of  the  committee  for  visiting  and  inspecting  the  schools. 
September  3,  1807,  he  was  chosen  deacon  of  the  Becket 

On  the  2d  of  May,  1811,  he  and  his  wife,  Olive,  were  promi- 
nent among  the  eleven  individuals  who,  with  Colonel  Benjamin 
Higley,  the  son  of  Olive  Higley  by  her  first  husband,  formed  a 
church  organization  in  Becket,  which  was  afterward  established 
permanently  at  Windham,  Portage  County,  O. ;  on  their  removal 
there,  later  in  the  season,  he  was  made  its  first  deacon.  The 
subsequent  history  of  this  church,  in  its  general  growth  and  pros- 
perity, proves  conclusively  that  the  Divine  protection  and  care 
marked  the  self-denying  zeal  of  these  earnest  founders.  It  is  now 
known  as  the  First  Congregationalist  Church  of  Windham,  O. 

Four  months  afterward,  Mr.  Alford  says,  in  a  letter  addressed 
to  Judge  Erastus  Higley  of  Castleton,  Vt.,  bearing  date  "August 

30,  1811": 

"  I  have  now  begun  my  journey  with  my  family  for  the  wilderness  of  New  Con- 
necticut, having  exchanged  my  land  for  land  in  Township  No.  4,  in  the  6th  range 
of  the  Connecticut  Western  Reserve.  I  have  1167  acres  of  land  in  the  aforesaid 


The  emigrants  arrived  at  Windham  after  a  long  and  perilous 
journey  in  carts,  on  the  i2th  of  October,  1811.  Mr.  Alford  with 
his  family  settled  on  lot  No.  57. 

Here  he  and  his  wife  brought  up  a  family;  many  of  their 
descendants  still  reside  in  the  same  locality,  well-to-do  and 
highly  respected  citizens. 

Deacon  Elijah  Alford  died  at  Windham,  O. ,  April  n,  1832. 
His  wife,  Olive  (Higley)  Alford,  died  September  16,  1827,  aged 
seventy-three  years.  They  were  interred  in  the  Windham 
cemetery.  They  had  children,  all  born  in  Becket,  Mass.,  viz. : 

Elijah,  3d,  born  August  12,  1780;  Ruth,  born  November  20, 
1784;  Olive,  born  October  12,  1786;  Levi  and  Oliver  (twins),  born 
April  14,  1789;  Anna,  born  November  25,  1792;  Sarah,  born 
June  3,  1795.  No  data  of  Olive,  Anna,  and  Sarah  has  been 

ELIJAH,  3d,  the  eldest,  served  in  the  War  of  1812,  and  resided  at  Windham,  O., 
till  his  decease. 

RUTH  was  admitted  to  the  Becket  church,  October  4,  1801,  and  was  one  of  the 
eleven  founders  of  the  First  Congregationalist  Church  at  Windham,  O. 

LEVI  and  OLIVER  were  the  first  of  the  Becket  family  to  go  on  a  prospecting  tour 
to  the  Western  Reserve,  Ohio,  making  their  journey  to  Windham  in  March,  1811. 
They  erected  a  rough  log  house  for  shelter  on  half  of  lot  No.  84  ;  but  returned  to 
Massachusetts  that  spring.  They,  however,  subsequently  returned  and  became 
residents  of  Portage  County. 

ELIJAH  ALFORD,  son  of  the  above  Elijah,  3d,  now  resides  on  the  old  Alford 
farm  at  Windham.  He  served  in  the  late  Civil  War,  Company  I,  I7ist  Regi- 
ment, O.  N.  G.  He  married,  first,  Silence  M.  Brewster,  August  14,  1856.  She 
died  November  6,  1861.  Married,  second,  September  12,  1865,  Harriet  C.  Snow, 
a  lady  of  fine  abilities.  Their  children  : 

Silence  E.,  born  September  28,  1866  ;  Herbert  J.,  born  April  19,  1869  ;  Arthur 
M.,  born  April  5,  1871. 

ASAHEL  ALFORD,  the  second  son  of  Elijah  and  Hannah  (Hig- 
ley) Alford,  served  in  the  War  of  the  Revolution.  From  Sep- 
tember 22,  1819,  till  his  death,  his  name  was  included  in  the 
list  of  Revolutionary  pensioners  receiving  eight  dollars  per 
month.  He  was  a  man  fond  of  adventure.  Early  in  the  history 
of  the  settlement  at  Windham,  O.,  he  lived  there,  but  finally 
removed  to  Herkimer,  N.  Y.,  where  he  died. 



Continued  from  page  162. 
Joel,  Brewster  Higley,  2d,  Brewster,  ist,  Captain  John  Higley. 

LIEUTENANT  JOEL  HIGLEY,  the  second  son  of  Ensign  Brewster 
Higley,  2d,  was  born  in  Higley-town,  Simsbury,  January  i,  1739'. 

The  precise  date  when  he  was  united  in  marriage  with  Eunice 
Haskins  is  not  known.  It  was,  however,  when  he  was  about 
twenty-one  years  of  age. 

The  young  couple  settled  in  Granby  (now  North  Granby),  Conn., 
probably  on  land  belonging  to  Joel's  father,  to  which  he  received 
a  "  Deed  of  Gift"  given  by  Brewster  Higley,  2d,  June  17,  1765, 
described  as  "a  part  of  the  land  which  I  inherited  from  my  hon- 
ored father,"  Brewster  Higley,  ist.  In  addition  to  this  parcel  of 
land,  Joel  purchased  in  the  following  October  land  adjoining. 

By  his  father's  will,  executed  June  21,  1793,  ne  receives  the  fol- 
lowing bequest : 

"A  lot  of  land  lying  in  Granby,  where  he  [Joel]  now  lives,  containing  about 
sixty  acres,  also  a  quarter  of  the  lot  of  land  lying  in  Pine-Plains,  lying  on  the  east 
side  of  the  road  that  leads  to  Salmon-Brook  near  the  old  Fort  so  called." 

He  is  named  in  the  will  in  the  disposal  of  movable  estate,  and 
is  the  first  named  son,  whom  his  father  appoints  in  connection 
with  his  brother  Enoch,  as  executor  of  his  estate. 

The  manual  of  the  First  Congregational  Church  in  North 
Granby  shows  that  Joel  Higley  became  a  member  of  church  when 
fifteen  years  of  age,  1754,  but  he  appears  afterward  to  have  joined 
the  Simsbury  parish  for  a  time.  The  bent  of  character  of  Deacon 
Brewster  Higley,  2d's,  sons  was  decidedly  of  a  religious  nature, 
wrought  into  them,  no  doubt,  by  the  precept  and  example  of  their 
father,  to  whose  faith  and  teachings  they  strictly  adhered.  They 
were  all  prominent  laymen  in  the  church. 

Joel  and  his  wife  together  were  admitted  by  letter  to  the  First 
Ecclesiastical  Society  of  Granby,  and  "  signed  ye  covenant " 
January  22,  1769.  There  is  much  evidence  from  this  time  till  his 
removal  from  Connecticut  of  his  devotion  to  and  activity  in 
church  matters.  He  served  as  member  of  the  "  Prudential  Com- 
mittee," and  on  many  other  important  appointments  for  a  period 
of  twenty  years.  The  documents  to  which  his  signature  is 
appended  show  that  he  wrote  a  fine,  clear  hand. 

1  "  Simsbury  Records,"  book  iii. 


His  father's  cider-still  had  a  share  of  his  patronage,  though 
the  quantities  of  cider  brandy  charged  to  his  account  are  far 
more  moderate  than  those  charged  to  other  residents  of  Higley- 

That  the  use  of  pure  and  honest  apple  brandy,  flip,  and  punch, 
in  which  these  venerated  members  of  the  church  indulged  under 
the  old  church  customs,  did  not  fall  into  decay  for  many  years 
after  this  period,  is  often  apparent,  though  in  other  respects  they 
were  "screwed  up  to  the  pitch  of  Calvinistic  stiffness."  It  is  an 
extremely  interesting  subject  to  follow.  Later  on  the  following 
church  record  is  found  under  the  heading  of  "  Deaths  of  Church 
Members," — the  church  to  which  Joel  Higley  belonged  : 

"  October  22.  Ephraim  Saunders ;  found  dead  in  a  tub  in  a  distillery, 
aged  — ." 

The  military  instinct  developed  in  Joel  Higley  is  in  line  with  his 
father,  his  grandfather,  and  his  great-grandfather.  He  was  com- 
missioned to  the  rank  of  lieutenant  in  the  North  Train  Band  in 
1778,  and  served  in  this  rank  during  the  remaining  part  of  the 
War  of  the  Revolution.  He  appears  to  have  followed  agricul- 
tural pursuits  during  his  entire  life,  living  peacefully  and  quietly 
in  the  society  of  his  kindred  and  neighbors.  He  was  clever  and 
genial,  given  to  rough  humor  and  exceedingly  fond  of  practical 
jokes.  Of  his  wit  and  jokes  many  stories  are  told.  He  one  day 
met  his  match  in  a  woman  whom  he  overtook  riding  on  horse- 
back on  a  country  road  in  an  adjoining  neighborhood.  He  too 
was  traveling  on  horseback.  Approaching  her  he  made  inquiries 
about  a  road  leaving  the  main  highway,  on  which  he  wished  to 
turn  off  in  a  different  direction.  He  found  her  well  acquainted 
with  all  the  roads  thereabout,  and  quite  capable  of  giving  him 
satisfactory  information,  upon  which  he  intimated  that  he  would 
remain  in  her  company,  remarking  that  "poor  company  was 
better  than  none."  This  remark  he  so  frequently  repeated 
during  their  conversation  as  they  rode  along  that  his  guide, 
though  she  appeared  not  to  notice  it,  became  irritated.  They 
traveled  on  and  on,  until  Joel  began  to  think  the  distance  very 
long.  Finally  he  made  inquiry  how  far  it  was  to  the  point  where 
he  must  turn  off.  "Oh,  "she  replied,  "we  passed  it  two  miles 
back."  "  Why,  you  said  you  would  tell  me  when  we  reached  it," 
said  Joel.  "I  thought  'poor  company  better  than  none,'' 
retorted  his  fellow- traveler;  and  Joel  turned  and  galloped  away, 


saying  afterward  that  he  "never  was  so  taken  aback  in  all  of 
his  life." 

In  1803,  when  sixty-four  years  of  age,  he  removed  in  company 
with  his  married  son,  Joel  Higley,  ad,  and  other  of  his  children, 
to  Gallia  County,  Ohio  (now  Mergs  County),  and  settled  near 
the  present  location  of  the  town  of  Rutland.  Here  he  resided 
the  remainder  of  his  life.  He  was  interred  in  the  old  burial 
ground  at  Rutland,  the  use  of  which  is  now  abandoned.  His 
grave  is  not  known.  His  wife,  Eunice  (Haskins)  Higley  died  at 
Rutland  in  1823,  at  the  age  of  seventy-eight.  Lieutenant  Joel 
and  Eunice  (Haskins)  Higley  were  the  parents  of  eight  children, 
all  of  whom  were  born  in  Granby,  Conn.,  and  all  removed  to  Ohio 
in  1803  with  their  parents. 

They  were  as  follows  :  Rachel,  Joel,  Jr.,  Luanda,  Abiah, 
Eunice,  Electa,  Sophia,  and  Elim, 

Of  the  daughters,  Rachel  married  first  Whitlock,  and 

second  H.  Williams.  Lucinda  married  Earl  P.  Archer  ;  Abiah 
married  Benjamin  Whitlock  ;  Eunice  married  Silas  Knight  ; 
Electa  married  Benjamin  Williams,  of  Rutland,  O.,  in  1807,  and 
had  two  children,  Benjamin  S.,  and  Sophia,  Sophia  Higley  mar- 
ried the  Rev.  Asa  Stearns. 

MAJOR  JOEL  HIGLEY,  Jr.,  the  eldest  son  of  Lieutenant  Joel,  ist, 
and  Eunice  (Haskins)  Higley,  was  born  in  Simsbury,  Conn,  (that 
division  which  is  now  Granby),  July  31,  1764.  He  married 
Cynthia  Phelps,  May  25,  1785,  and  settled  adjacent  to  the  place 
of  his  birth.  Here  they  lived  eighteen  years.  The  second  Sab- 
bath in  March,  1785,  just  before  his  marriage,  he  united  with  the 
church  at  North  Granby  on  profession  of  his  faith.  The  records 
show  that  he  filled  his  place  in  life  to  good  purpose.  Among 
other  town  appointments,  he  was  surveyor  of  highways  in  1795. 
In  military  matters  he  held  a  commission  as  major,  belonging  to 
the  Connecticut  State  troops.  It  is  not  known  that  he  was  in 
any  of  the  wars  of  his  time. 

In  the  year  1803  he  emigrated  with  his  family  of  seven  children, 
accompanied  by  his  parents  and  their  family,  to  Gallia  County 
(now  Meigs  County),  Ohio,  and  settled  near  the  present  site  of 
the  town  of  Rutland.  He  was  no  doubt  incited  to  take  this  im- 
portant step  through  letters  written  by  his  cousin,  Judge  Brew- 
ster  Higley,  4th,1  who  had  removed  from  Vermont,  and  here 
founded  a  home  in  the  spring  of  1799.  The  country  at  that  time 

1  See  sketch  of  Brewster  Higley,  4th,  for  the  early  settlement  of  Rutland,  O. 


was  one  deep,  dark,  tangled  wilderness,  where  mother  nature  lay 
almost  undisturbed.  Ohio  had  only  just  then  become  a  State. 
Major  Joel  Higley's  family  of  growing  children  grew  with  the 
growth  and  progress  of  the  new  State  they  had  entered,  and  be- 
came real  specimens  of  the  strong,  honest  men  and  women  whose 
sinew  and  brow-sweat  developed  this  large  area  of  farm  lands 
with  the  industrial  and  commercial  resources  of  this  noble  section 
of  our  country.  He  died  April  26,  1823.  Major  Joel  Higley,  Jr., 
and  his  wife,  Cynthia  Phelps,  had  seven  children,  all  of  whom 
were  born  in  Granby,  Conn.,  viz. : 

Polly,  born  November  26, 1786  ;  married  Philip  Jones  ;  she  died  May  30,  1866. 
Elihu,  born  December  26,  1788  (see  following  sketch).  Lucy,  born  August  20, 
1793  ;  married  Daniel  Rathburn,  May,  1812  ;  no  further  account  given.  Sally,  born 
March  8,  1795.  Cynthia,  born  February  7,  1797  ;  died  unmarried.  Maria,  born 
July  30,  1799  I  married  Willis  Knight  ;  and_/iv/  Phelps,  Jr.,  born  June  9,  1802. 

ELIHU  HIGLEY,  the  eldest  son  of  Joel,  Jr.,  and  Cynthia  (Phelps) 
Higley,  was  born  December  26,  1788,  and  married  Nancy  Cook, 
December  20,  1815. 

He  was  of  a  jovial  temperament  and  somewhat  eccentric. 

When  the  call  for  soldiers  came  in  the  War  of  1812,  he  and  his 
uncle,  Elim  Higley,  were  among  the  first  who  responded,  and 
were  at  one  time  stationed  near  Sandusky.  He  used  to  relate  to 
his  boys  an  incident  of  his  war  experience: 

Sometimes  enjoying  a  bit  of  daring  adventure,  he  one  day  de- 
termined to  slip  out  of  camp.  Hostile  Indians  were  swarming 
all  around. 

"  They'll  get  your  scalp  if  you  go,"  said  his  comrades.  But 
Elihu,  knowing  no  fear  and  trusting  to  his  knowledge  of  Indian 
wood-craft,  said  that  if  he  could  get  entirely  away  from  camp 
and  into  the  woods  before  they  saw  him,  he  would  be  equal  to 

He  had  but  barely  reached  the  deep  woods,  creeping  stealthily 
from  bush  to  bush,  when  he  espied  at  some  distance  a  big  Indian 
dodging  from  tree  to  tree.  Elihu  played  the  same  maneuver, 
taking  care  to  keep  behind  trees  and  logs  for  protection.  They 
both  continued  these  tactics  for  some  time.  Finally  they  came 
within  close  shooting  distance.  Elihu,  wishing  the  Indian  to  fire 
first  and  empty  his  rifle,  slyly  pushed  a  part  of  his  coat  from  be- 
hind the  tree  which  concealed  him,  making  believe  he  was  peep- 


ing.  The  redskin  was  deceived.  Bang  !  went  his  rifle.  The 
ball  whizzed  across  Elihu's  shoulder.  He  gave  no  time  for  the 
Indian  to  reload,  but  bounded  toward  him  before  he  knew  it,  be- 
ing a  remarkably  good  shot.  » 

"Did  you  kill  the  Indian,  Uncle  Elihu  ? "  asked  the  boys. 
"  Oh,  don't  ask  questions  !  "  was  always  the  reply.  But  the  truth 
was,  Elihu  returned  unconcernedly  to  camp  and  his  comrades 
knew  there  was  a  dead  Indian  left  in  the  woods. 

Elihu  Higley  died  April  23,  1877.  Elihu  and  Nancy  (Cook) 
Higley  had  one  child,  viz. :  Clarissa  Fidelia,  who  was  born 
June  12,  1817.  She  married  Martin  Fox,  August  15,  1835,  and 
resides  on  the  old  home  farm,  which  originally  belonged  to 
her  father. 

SALLY  HIGLEY,  the  third  child  of  Major  Joel  Higley,  Jr.,  and  Cynthia  Phelps, 
born  March  8,  1795,  married  Daniel  McNaughton,  December  16,  1816.  She  was 
baptized  in  the  church  at  North  Granby,  Conn.,  October  4,  1795.  They  have  one 
son,  Harlow  Phelps  McNaughton,  who  was  born  July  5,  1830.  He  served  in  the 
late  Civil  War,  entering  February  23,  1862,  the  7th  Ohio  Battery.  Besides  other 
notable  fights,  he  did  brave  service  in  the  battles  of  Pittsburg  Landing  and  Corinth, 
Miss.  For  gallant  and  meritorious  conduct  he  was  promoted  to  the  rank  of  cap- 
tain of  the  7th  Ohio  Battery.  He  resides  in  Rutland,  O. 

CAPTAIN  JOEL  PHELPS  HIGLEY,  the  third  by  the  name  of  Joel,  and  youngest  child 
of  Major  Joel  Higley  (2d)  and  Cynthia  Phelps,  was  born  June  9,  1802,  in  Granby, 
Conn ;  and  was  yet  an  infant  when  taken  by  his  parents  to  Meigs  County,  Ohio, 
1803.  He  married  Catherine  Wise,  December,  1823.  They  resided  near  Rut- 
land, O.  He  died  October  23,  1836.  Their  children  were  : 

Joel  Phelps  (4th),  George  A.,  Samuel  W.,  and  Adeline,  who  married  Samuel 

CAPTAIN  JOEL  PHELPS  HIGLEY  (the  fourth  in  line  by  the  name  of  Joel), 
was  born  at  Rutland,  O.,  January  20,  1825.  He  married  Mary,  the  daughter  of 
Lucius  and  Nancy  (Shepherd)  Higley,  September  14,  1848.  His  patriotic 
impulses  led  him  to  volunteer  in  the  Civil  War,  in  which  he  sacrificed  his  life. 
He  enlisted  July,  1863,  and  was  commissioned  captain,  Company  D,  7th 
Ohio  Cavalry.  He  served  three  months,  during  which  time  his  bravery  and 
high  soldierly  qualities  were  frequently  manifested.  He  was  killed  by  sharp- 
shooters, while  in  command  at  Blue  Springs,  London  County,  Tenn.,  October  10, 
1863.  His  widow  resides  at  Middleport,  Meigs  County,  O.  They  had  four 
children,  viz.: 

Mollie  E.,  born  January  I,  1850 ;  married  March  14,  1870,  Joseph  S.  Bradbury. 
Ransom  Ludlow,  born  October  20,  1852.  Samuel  Gary,  born  August  II,  1855; 
died  January  14,  1870,  unmarried.  Lucius  G.,  born  April  18,  1857;  died  Septem- 
ber 15,  1859. 

Ransom  L.  Higley,  of  the  above  family,  married  January,  1879,  Amelia  Gard- 
ner, and  has  four  children,  viz.:  Nola  Fee,  Lillie  Fay,  Robert  Ray,  and  Joseph  B. 


GEORGE  A.  HIGLEY,  the  second  son  of  Captain  Joel  Philips  Higley  (3d)  and  his 
wife  Mary,  was  born  at  Rutland,  O.,  October  2,  1830.  He  married  January 
20,  1853,  Mary  Ann  Parker.  They  reside  at  Platteville,  Wis.  They  have  three 
children,  viz.:  y 

Addie  Irene,  born  September  20,  1867 ;  married  H.  P.  Moffatt  ;  live  at  Emmetts- 
burg,  Iowa.  Frank  Norton,  born  April  15,  1860,  who  resides  at  Dubuque,  Iowa  ; 
and  George  A.,  Jr.,  born  April  7,  1864,  who  resides  at  Platteville,  Wis. 

SAMUEL  W.  HIGLEY,  the  third  son  of  Captain  Joel  Phelps  (3d)  and  Mary  his 
wife,  was  born  in  Rutland,  O. ,  July  12,  1834,  and  married  Adeline  R.  Simpson. 
Samuel  possessed  a  cheerful,  jolly  disposition,  which  made  friends  for  him.  His 
tastes  were  for  music,  in  which  he  happily  spent  much  of  his  time,  becoming  profi- 
cient in  the  use  of  several  different  musical  instruments. 

Samuel  W.  and  Adeline  R.  (Simpson)  Higley  had  five  children,  viz.: 

Otto  K.  Higley,  born  in  Rutland,  O.,  August  20,  1857  ;  married  Nellie  C. 
Gross,  June  5,  1882.  Othello  G.,  born  October  27,  1859,  at  Rutland,  O. ;  married 
Josie  A.  Sanderson,  March  17,  1882  ;  they  reside  at  Union-Mills,  Ind.,  and  have 
two  children,  viz.  :  £essie  C.,  born  April  19,  1883,  and  Mabel,  born  August  13, 
1885.  Adelia  M,,  born  June  12,  1862  ;  unmarried,  and  is  a  practicing  physician 
residing  in  Minnesota.  Linnie  S.,  born  February  10,  1864,  and  Kate  M., 
born  May  26,  1871,  both  of  whom  reside  with  their  parents  at  Rutland,  O. 


Continued  from  page  162. 
Esther  Higley  De  Wolf,  Brewster  Higley,  ad,  Brewster,  ist,  Captain  John  Higley. 

ESTHER  HIGLEY,  the  fourth  child  of  Brewster  Higley,  2d,  and 
Esther,  his  wife,  was  born  at  Simsbury,  Conn.,  September  19, 


She  married  Peter  De  Wolf,  of  a  well-known  family  of  North 
Simsbury.  The  young  couple  resided  at  Salmon  Brook.  In  the 
Salmon  Brook  rate  book  for  1774  her  husband's  name  is  entered 
upon  the  list  for  £96. 

Peter  De  Wolf  served  in  the  Army  of  the  Revolution,  i8th 
Connecticut  Militia  Regiment,  Captain  Jonathan  Bittolph's 
company.  The  regiment  arrived  in  New  York,  August  18,  1776. 

Esther  Higley  De  Wolf  is  mentioned  in  her  father's  will  in  the 
year  1794,  and  again  in  family  letters  bearing  date  1806,  which 
show  that  she  was  living  at  that  time.  The  date  of  her  decease 
is  not  known. 



SETH    HIGLEY,     1ST. 
Seth  ist,  Brewster  2d,  Brewster  ist,  Captain  John  Higley. 

Our  Lord  God  doth  like  a  printer,  who  setteth   the  letters  backwards  ;  we  see  and  feel  well 
his  setting,  but  we  shall  see  the  print  yonder  in  the  life  to  come. — Luther's  Table  Talk. 

SETH  HIGLEY,  the  son  of  Brewster  Higley,  2d,  and  Esther  Hoi- 
combe,  was  born  in  Higley-town,  October  29,  1746,  in  the  house 
built  for  his  father  near  the  northern  line  of  the  present  town  of 

A  fine  illustration  of  this  old  colonial  homestead,  which  stood 
for  full  150  years,  is  given,  page  161. 

This  was  the  home  of  Seth  Higley  during  the  greater  part  of 
his  life.  The  property  came  into  the  possession  of  Brewster 
Higley,  3d,  his  eldest  brother,  soon  after  Brewster,  2d,  went  to 
reside  with  his  aged  mother  in  the  old  Captain  John  Higley 
homestead.  Finally  it  fell  into  the  hands  of  Seth  Higley,  who 
held  it  as  long  as  he  lived,  and  then  it  was  held  by  his  descend- 
ants for  two  generations. 

Seth  Higley  was  the  fifth  child  and  third  son  of  his  parents. 
His  marriage  to  the  daughter  of  Nathaniel  Higley,  who  was  his 
grandfather's  half-brother,1  is  thus  placed  upon  record  :* 

"Seth  Higley  and  Mindwell  Higley,  both  of  Simsbury,  were  joined  in  Marriage 
the  3d  day  of  March  A.  D.  1 768."  * 

Mindwell  Higley  appears  to  have  been  a  few  years  her  hus- 
band's senior. 

We  find  the  newly  married  pair,  in  December  of  the  same  year 
of  their  marriage,  seated  in  the  church,  pew  12,  in  close  proximity 
to  others  of  their  numerous  kindred. 

But  the  following  year  they  appear  to  have  removed  for  a  brief 
period  to  North  Granby,  probably  in  the  close  vicinity  of  Mind- 
well's  father,  Nathaniel  Higley.  Here  in  the  North  Granby 
church  they  "  owned  ye  covenant"  on  the  gth  of  July,  1769. 

1  There  was  but  ten  years  difference  between  the  ages  of  Nathaniel,  the  father  of  Mindwell 
Higley,  and  Brewster,  ad,  the  father  of  Seth  Higley. 
*  "  Simsbury  Records,"  book  iv.  p.  180. 



Tradition  tells  us  that  Seth  Higley  was  intensely  puritanic  in 
his  religious  belief  and  practices,  clinging  rigidly  throughout  his 
life  to  the  law  of  his  father's  faith  and  the  old  influences  of 
Brewster,  2d's,  hearthstone. 

Early  in  1776  he  is  again  found  established  in  the  old  Simsbury 
church,  where  he  was  "chosen  collector  to  collect  ye  said 
Society's  Rates  for  the  year." 

A  few  months  later  he  enlisted  for  the  War  of  the  Revolution, 
entering  the  i8th  Regiment  Militia,  Lieutenant  Job  Case's  com- 
pany, and  arrived  in  New  York  August  24,  1776.  It  is  not 
known  how  long  he  served.  When  he  left  the  army  he  had 
reached  the  office  of  corporal.'  After  his  return  to  his  home  the 
records  show  that  he  filled  appointments  in  matters  concerning 
the  society. 

He  evidently  lived  in  comfortable  circumstances.  Besides  the 
farm  which  he  managed,  he  owned  a  joint  interest,  with  his 
brother-in-law,  Elijah  Higley,  in  a  saw-mill,  and  about  this  time 
he  opened  his  house  as  a  tavern.  In  the  latter  business  he  was 
no  doubt  faithfully  aided  by  his  ready-handed  wife.  The  old 
cupboard  from  which  was  served  out  the  liquors  at  the  bar  is 
still  preserved,  now  a  relic  of  just  one  hundred  years,  and  the 
cider-mill  account-book  reveals  the  fact  that  Seth  was  a  faithful 
patron  of  its  yield. 

The  cellar  in  which  was  stored  barrels  of  choice  rum,  apple- 
jack, and  "bull's-blood,"  a  is  in  perfect  condition,  while  not  far 
from  the  door  the  ancient  well,  with  its  oldtime  wellsweep  and 
pure  water,  also  a  lively  bubbling  spring  close  by,  still  speak 
with  exhilarating  freshness  of  the  "good  old  times  "when  the 
ancient  host  of  the  inn,  as  was  the  custom  in  his  day,  received 
his  traveling  guests  and  their  tired  horses  with  the  same  social 
attentions  that  he  would  have  bestowed  had  they  been  his  per- 
sonal friends. 

From  what  is  known  of  Seth  Higley  we  may  draw  the  conclu- 
sion that  his  life  was  a  silent  example  of  a  steady,  honest,  and 
unobtrusive  daily  walk,  and  while  he  did  not  fail  in  his  task  in 
life,  there  is  no  indication  that  he  possessed  a  masterful  quality 
of  mind,  or  that  he  made  a  strong  mark  upon  the  community. 

He  was  afflicted,  the  latter  part  of  his  life,  with  a  scrofulous  dis- 
ease known  in  those  days  as  "king's  evil,"  his  health  failing  him, 
from  this  cause,  some  time  before  the  disease  terminated  his  life. 

1  "Record  of  Connecticut  Men  in  the  War  of  the  Revolution."  *  Boiled  cider. 


Seth  Higley  died  in  the  full  tide  of  middle  life,  the  latter  part  of 
February,  1794,  at  the  age  of  forty-eight.  His  death  occurred 
only  two  weeks  previous  to  the  decease  of  his  father,  Brewster 
Higley,  2d.  It  is  supposed  that  he  was  interred  in  the  ancient 
burial-ground  at  Simsbury.  There  is  no  trace  of  his  grave.  His 
will,  which  was  written  February  8,  1794,  just  before'his  death, 
and  received  at  the  Court  of  Probate  March  15,  1794,  declares  as 
follows  : 

"  Being  sick  and  in  a  weak  and  infirm  state  of  body,  but  of  sound  and  disposing 
mind  ...  I  give  to  my  well-beloved  wife,  Miudwell,  the  use  of  one-third  part 
of  my  real  estate  during  her  natural  life,  and  one-third  part  of  my  personal  estate 
to  be  her  own  property. 

"  I  give  to  my  sons  and  daughters,  Philer,  Levi,  Warren,  Oliver,  Roxanna, 
Amelia,  Polly,  Rhoda,  and  Sally,  all  my  Estate,  both  real  and  personal,  in  the 
proportion  following  : 

"  That  the  said  sons  have  two  shares  or  portions  to  the  said  daughters,  and  to 
them  and  their  heirs  forever  :  and  it  is  my  will  that  my  said  wife  have  the  care  and 
direction  of  what  part  of  my  Estate  that  shall  descend  to  my  said  sons  and  daugh- 
ters that  are  under  age  until  they  arrive,  the  sons  to  twenty-one  years  of  age,  and 
the  daughters  to  eighteen  years  old. 

"I  do  hereby  constitute  and  appoint  my  said  wife,  Mindwell,  to  be  my  Executrix 
on  this  my  last  Will  and  Testament,  in  witness  whereof  I  have  hereunto  set  my 
hand  and  seal  this  8th  day  of  February  1 794. 

[Signed],       "SETH  HIGLEY." 

The  inventory  of  the  personal  effects  amounted  to  .£87  75.  2d. 
Among  the  articles  mentioned  in  the  inventory  are  a  "  Brown 
coat  ;  a  Great  light  colored  coat,  pair  of  black  Breeches,  one  vest, 
one  white  one,  one  old  one,  linen  shirts,  three  woolen  ones, 
silver  stock  buckle,  and  silver  shoe  buckles,  one  half  of  a  saw- 
mill, and  a  saw-mill  saw,"  together  with  a  full  list  of  the  usual 
household  articles  and  farm  belongings,  hogs,  cattle,  sheep,  etc. 

By  his  father's  will,  which  was  executed  June  21,  1793,  and  not 
presented  at  court  till  sixteen  days  after  his  son  Seth's,  it  is 
shown  that  he  gave  Seth  a  full  title  to  the  farm  on  which  he  had 
lived,  including  the  house  (see  illustration),  together  with  other 
small  lots  of  land,  besides  "  moveable  estate."  The  location  of 
his  home  farm  is  thus  described  :  "To  my  son  Seth  Higley  my 
meadow  land  called  Ram  Dover  which  is  surrounded  by  a  Ditch 
and  contains  about  ten  acres,  and  also  one  quarter  part  of  said 
plains  lot  by  the  old  fort  ;  And  also  the  lot  of  land  he  now  lives 
on  which  I  bought  of  Widow  Miller  lying  in  the  long  lots  so 


Some  time  after  the  death  of  her  husband,  his  widow,  Mindwell 

Higley,  married Latimer,  and  resided  in  Bloomfield  until 

she  was  in  advanced  years.  The  date  of  her  death  is  not  known. 

The  children  of  Seth  and  Mindwell  Higley  were  :  Seth  Filer 
(sometimes  found  on  record  incorrectly  spelled  "Philer");  Levi  ; 
a  son  who  died  in  childhood,  May  2,  1778  ;  Warren,  Roxanna, 
Amelia,  Polly,  Rhoda,  Sallie,  Oliver. 

Seth,  ist,  Brewster,  ad,  Brewster,  ist,  Captain  John  Higley. 

"  To  us,  my  friend,  the  times  that  are  gone  by 
Arc  a  mysterious  book." 

SETH  FILER  HIGLEY  was  the  eldest  born  child  of  Seth]  ist,  and 
Mindwell  Higley.  The  middle  name  which  he  bore,  and  by  which 
he  was  generally  called,  was  Filer,  the  family  name  of  his  maternal 
grandmother,  Abigail  Filer,  the  wife  of  Nathaniel  Higley.  His 
parents  had  already  taken  possession  of  the  old  homestead  of 
Brewster  Higley,  2d,  near  the  north  line  of  the  present  town  of 
Simsbury,  when  his  birth  occurred  in  1769.  He  seems  to  have 
received  but  a  meager  common  school  education,  spending  his 
early  youth  in  vigorous  work  upon  the  farm.  Later  on  he 
assisted  at  the  saw-mill,  of  which  his  father  was  the  owner  of  a 
one-half  interest. 

The  notable  "dark  day,"  May  19,  1780,  which  was  ever  after 
during  the  lives  of  those  who  experienced  it  the  memorable  date 
of  a  scene  of  solemnity  and  significance,  took  place  when  he  was 
a  boy  of  eleven  years.  He  was  at  work  hoeing  in  the  field  when 
it  grew  dark,  and  leaving  his  work  he  fled  to  the  house.  The 
family  lighted  the  candles  and  sat  down  in  funeral-like  gravity, 
superstitiously  regarding  the  strange  and  unusual  phenomena  as 
of  serious  foreboding.  This  occurrence  left  a  deep  impression 
upon  the  boy's  mind,  and  was  often  a  theme  of  his  conversation 
during  his  later  years.  On  the  igth  of  October,  1790,  he  married 
Naomi,  the  daughter  of  Peter  Holcomb*  of  Granby.  She  was 
born  1772.  The  year  following  their  marriage  they  removed  to 
Steventown,  N.  Y.  Three  years  later,  after  his  father's  death, 
they  returned  to  Simsbury  to  the  old  homestead  where  he  was 
born.  Here  he  lived  the  remainder  of  his  life. 

Seth  Filer  Higley  was  endowed  with  a  solid,  well-balanced 
mind,  which  was  of  somewhat  an  austere  type.  He  was  an  ex- 


ceedingly  strict  religionist,  and  rigidly  kept  the  Sabbath  accord- 
ing to  the  Puritanic  idea,  not  even  softening  his  restrictions 
enough  to  permit  the  floor  of  the  family  room  to  be  swept  on  a 
Sunday  morning,  which  in  this  case  might  have  been  considered 
an  excusable  innovation  upon  the  sanctity  of  the  day,  since  it 
was  the  living  room  of  a  family  of  thirteen.  In  his  religious  pro- 
fession he  was  an  Episcopalian,  a  member  of  St.  Andrew's  Church, 
the  parish  of  Scotland.  Here  the  most  of  their  children  were 
baptized,  and  all  of  them  attended  the  parish  school.  Not  long 
before  his  death  he  withdrew  from  the  Episcopal  Church,  and 
united  with  the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church  of  West  Granby. 

His  wife,  Naomi  Holcombe  Higley,  died  on  the  2oth  of  Janu- 
ary, 1817,  aged  forty-five  years  and  eight  months.  He  afterward 

married  Mabel ,  to  whom,  in  the  distribution  of  his  estate, 

a  dower  was  "  set  off." 

He  died  August  19,  1821,  aged  sixty-two  years  and  six  months. 

Seth  Filer  and  Naomi  Holcombe  Higley  had  a  numerous  fam- 
ily, viz.  : 

Navmi,  Lohama,  Nancy,  Seth,  Jr.,  Lyman,  Lohama  (zd),  Har- 
low,  Or  sen,  Peter,  Homer,  Homer  (ad),  Eratus,  and  Diana. 

NAOMI,  the  eldest  child,  was  born  September  3,  1791.  She  had  a  jovial  and 
social  disposition,  which  made  her  a  happy  companion.  She  married  Allen  Dean, 
and  lived  for  a  number  of  years  in  Southwick,  Mass.  They  then  removed  to  East 
Granby,  and  afterward  to  Westfield,  Mass.,  where  she  died,  and  where  her  descen- 
dants now  reside.  She  died  July  12,  1853. 

LOHAMA,  the  second  child  of  Seth  Filer  and  Naomi  Holcombe  Higley,  born 
April  13,  1793,  died  an  infant,  November  I,  1793. 

NANCY,  the  third  child  and  third  daughter,  was  born  November  2,  1794,  in 
Steventown,  N.  Y.  She  was  an  infant  in  her  mother's  arms  when  her  parents  re- 
turned to  Simbury,  Conn.,  and  took  up  their  residence  in  the  old  homestead.  From 
this  home  she  attended  the  parish  school  which  was  under  the  auspices  of  the 
ecclesiastical  society,  the^  family  at  this  time  being  Episcopalians.  On  the  1 3th 
of  February,  1806,  she  married  Asa  Wyman  of  Union,  Conn.,  a  millwright  by 
trade.  In  the  year  1825  Mr.  Wyman  built  a  house  on  land  which  he  purchased 
adjoining  the  Seth  Higley  farm  at  Simsbury,  which  was  her  home  during  the 
remainder  of  her  long  life.  They  had  two  children,  Manerva  Ann  and  Caroline 

Her  husband,  Asa  Wyman,  died  December  13,  1850.  Mrs.  Wyman  lived  a 
widow  thirty-five  years.  She  was  a  woman  of  decided  character  and  strong 
principles.  It  was  an  offense  in  her  view,  almost  worse  than  crime,  for  a  person 
to  be  guilty  of  not  strictly  keeping  his  word.  Her  life  was  one  of  unceasing 
industry.  The  interests  of  her  household  were  well  looked  after,  and  with  per- 
fect discipline,  which  was  one  of  her  chief  characteristics,  she  ruled  with  strength 
and  honor,  fully  meriting  the  "praise  and  properties "  of  a  good  wife.  Her 


decease  took  place  at  Siitisbury,   September   14,   1885,   at  the  advanced    age  of 

"  Her  children  and  children's  children  rise  up  and  call  her  blessed." 

MANERVA  ANN,  the  eldest  of  the  two  daughters  of  Asa  and  Nancy  Higley 
Wyman,  was  born  November  10,  1816.  She  married  Samuel  Hinman,  August  19, 
1841,  and  became  the  mother  of  four  children,  viz.: 

John  S.,  born  September  23,  1842.  Nancy  M.,  born  December  25,  1844,  who 
married  Lucius  Terry  and  resides  in  Guilford,  Conn.  Charles  Z.,born  May  3, 
1847,  and  Daniel  Silas,  born  July  16,  1850,  who  died  on  the  7th  of  the  following 

Samuel  Hinman  died  November  7,  1850.  His  wife,  Manerva  Hinman,  died 
March  3,  1856. 

JOHN  S.  HINMAN,  their  eldest  son,  enlisted  for  the  Civil  War  October  9, 1861,  for 
three  years,  in  Company  C,  8th  Regiment,  Connecticut  Volunteers,  Colonel  Charles 
\V.  Nash.  His  first  service  was  under  General  A.  E.  Burnside  at  the  capture  of 
Roanoke  Island,  N.  C.  Subsequently  he  was  at  the  capture  of  Newbern,  N.  C., 
Fort  Macon,  at  the  siege  of  Suffolk,  Frederick  City,  and  in  the  battles  of  Cedar 
Mountain,  South  Mountain,  Antietam,  Fredericksburg,  Cold  Harbor,  Drury 
Bluffs,  Chopin  Farms,  Bermuda  Hundred,  and  the  siege  of  Petersburg.  He 
serve  dunder  Generals  McClelland,  Burnside,  Grant,  Meade,  Butler,  Ord,  Han- 
cock, and  Reno.  He  was  wounded  in  four  different  engagements,  but  not  seri- 
ously, and  each  time  soon  again  joined  the  ranks.  He  received  an  honorable 
discharge  when  his  term  of  enlistment  expired,  October  21,  1864,  having  made  a 
record  most  worthy  of  high  praise.  On  the  gth  of  May,  1867,  he  married  Clara  C. 
Gifford  of  Meriden,  Conn.,  where  they  resided  for  some  time,  Mr.  Hinman  being 
engaged  in  the  Britannia  works  in  that  city.  They  have  three  children,  one  son 
and  two  daughters,  They  now  reside  in  New  Haven,  Conn. 

CHARLES  L.  HINMAN,  the  youngest  son  of  Samuel  and  Manerva  Hinman,  and 
grandson  of  Nancy  Higley  Wyman,  enlisted  at  New  York  in  the  U.  S.  Navy,  June 
4,  1864,  the  last  year  of  the  Civil  War.  He  first  served  on  board  the  U.  S.  S. 
Monongahela.  He  was  in  the  engagement  at  Fort  Morgan,  Mobile  Bay,  August, 
1864,  with  the  immortal  Admiral  Farragut,  when  his  monitors  forced  their  way, 
under  heavy  fire  from  the  Confederate  forts, — Morgan  and  Gaines, — with  their 
brave  commander  lashed  to  the  mast  of  his  flag-ship,  and  captured  the  forts  ;  and 
in  the  fierce  conflict  when  the  formidable  ram  Tennessee  was  destroyed.  He 
participated  in  the  taking  of  Spanish  Fort,  and  was  with  the  Federal  forces  at  the 
occupancy  of  Mobile,  Ala.,  the  spring  of  1865. 

The  following  June  he  was  sent  to  Philadelphia,  where  he  received  a  ten  clays' 
furlough.  Immediately  after  his  return  to  service,  being  seized  with  hard  chills 
and  fever,  he  was  transferred  to  the  naval  hospital  at  the  Brooklyn  Navy  Yard,  and 
on  his  return  to  health  was  placed  on  board  the  U.  S.  S.  Pensacola,  which  was 
ordered  to  the  South  Pacific  Squadron.  After  visiting  a  number  of  South  American 
ports,  the  vessel  was  finally  ordered  to  the  navy  yard,  Mare  Island,  Cal.,  where  he 
was  honorably  registered  out  of  service,  June  4,  1867,  w^th  transportation  to  New 
York  by  the  way  of  Panama.  Soon  afterward  he  went  to  Liverpool,  where,  in 
1868,  he  shipped  on  the  Fair  Wind,  a  vessel  chartered  by  the  British  Government 
to  carry  supplies  to  Aden  for  the  Abyssinian  War.  He  was  more  than  a  year 
voyaging  in  this  ship.  Later  he  made  voyages  from  London  to  Cape  Town,  the 
West  Indies,  and  other  foreign  ports,  and  twice  suffered  shipwreck.  He  returned 
to  his  home,  August,  1870,  after  a  vast  amount  of  interesting  and  oftentimes  thrilling 
experiences,  having  followed  the  sea  six  years  and  three  months.  In  January,  1 871, 
he  married  Harriet  Augusta  Golden.  His  wife  died  December  II,  1872.  He  now 
resides  in  Meriden,  Conn. 

CAROLINE  NANCY,  the  second  child  of  Asa  and  Nancy  Higley  Wyman,  was  born 
October  20,  1823,  and  at  the  age  of  eighteen  married  Newel  Goddard  of  Granby, 
Conn.,  October  19,  1841.  During  the  first  four  years  of  their  married  life  they 
resided  in  Simsbury,  and  the  following  five  years  in  Granby.  In  1851  they 


again  removed  to  Simsbury,  taking  charge  of  their  aged  mother,  Mrs.  Nancy 
Higley  Wyman,  during  the  remainder  of  her  life.  Newell  Goddard  died  December, 
1891.  The  family  reside  in  close  vicinity  to  the  spot  where  the  ancient  Seth 
Higley  homestead  stood.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Goddard  were  the  parents  of  three  children, 

Henry  N.,  Lucius  A.,  and  Albert  £.,  all  of  whom  reside  at  Simsbury,  Conn., 
except  Lucius,  whose  home  is  in  Granby. 

HENRY  N.  GODDARD,  the  eldest  son  of  Newell  and  Caroline  Nancy  Goddard, 
was  born  February  I,  1843.  Owing  to  his  parents  having  assumed  the  care  of 
some  orphaned  children,  his  education  was  interrupted  at  an  early  age,  it  becoming 
a  necessity  that  he  should  work  on  the  farm.  His  school  life  was  confined  to  the 
short  winter  months,  and  his  advantages  for  learning  were  limited.  When  twenty 
years  old  he  entered  a  manufacturing  establishment  in  Unionville,  Conn.  In  the 
spring  of  1863  he  was  employed  by  the  firm  of  Collins  &  Co.,  of  Collinsville, 
Conn.,  making  bayonets.  After  the  hostilities  of  war  ceased  in  1865,  and  there  was 
less  demand  for  firearms,  he  engaged  with  the  same  company  in  making  cast-steel. 
In  1868  he  returned  to  farming,  which  he  followed  three  years,  and  in  1873  he 
became  engaged  in  milling  at  Simsbury,  Conn.,  in  which  business  he  has  con- 
tinued. On  November  24,  1864,  Mr.  Goddard  married  Lavina  S.  Cobb.  She 
died  October  7,  1883.  His  second  marriage  was  to  Charlotte  E.  Noble  of  Simsbury, 
December  2,  1885.  By  his  first  marriage  he  had  one  child,  a  son,  Charles  H.  God- 
dard, born  September  20,  1867,  who  is  married  and  resides  in  Rutland,  Vt.  He  is 
a  machinist. 

Lucius  A.  GODDARD,  the  second  son  of  Newell  and  Caroline  Nancy  Goddard, 
was  born  August  23,  1844.  He  married,  July  17,  1870,  Salina  Fletcher.  They 
became  the  parents  of  eight  children,  six  sons  and  two  daughters,  two  of  whom  are 
deceased.  They  reside  in  Granby,  Conn. 

ALBERT  E.  GODDARD,  the  youngest  child  of  Newell  and  Caroline  Nancy  Goddard, 
was  born  August  3,  1846.  He  married  Anna  L.  Reylford  November  I,  1882. 
They  have  two  children,  a  son  and  daughter.  They  reside  with  the  parents  of  Mr. 
Goddard  on  a  farm  at  Simsbury,  Conn. 

Continued  from  page  189, 

SETH  HIGLEY,  Jr.  (or  3d),  the  eldest  son  and  fourth  child  of  Seth  Filer  and  Naomi 
Holcombe  Higley,  was  born  at  Simsbury,  Conn.,  August  25,  1796,  and  married 
Lura  Goddard  of  West  Granby,  Conn.  He  was  administrator  to  his  father's  estate. 
They  emigrated  to  Ohio,  settling  at  Mantua,  Portage  County,  where  they  had  a 
family.  Seth  Higley,  3d,  died  at  Mantua,  July  21, 1856.  Their  children  were  as 

Alvin,  who  died  in  1868.  Nelson,  who  resides  in  St.  Louis,  Mich.,  and  has 
children,  viz.:  Susan,  Julia,  Nancy,  Milton,  and  Henry  N.,  who  is  married  and 
resides  in  Mesopotamia,  Trumbull  County,  O.  Henry  N.  Higley's  only  childv 
Jay  J.  Higley,  was  born  January  2,  1872. 

LYMAN  HIGLEY,  the  fifth  child  of  Seth  Filer  and  Naomi  Holcombe  Higley,  was 
born  at  Simsbury,  October  28,  1798.  He  married  first  Orrilla  Northway,  Janu- 
ary 7,  1825.  She  was  born  June  13,  1795.  His  second  ivife  was  Mrs.  Rose, 
the  widow  of  Josephus  Rose  of  Granville,  Mass.  The  year  following  his  first 
marriage  they  left  Simsbury  and  settled  at  Attica,  N.  Y.,  where  they  resided  till 
1844.  They  then  removed  to  the  city  of  Nauvoo,  111.,  where  his  wife  and  daughter 
embraced  the  religious  faith  of  the  Mormons.  Lyman  Higley,  however,  was  not 
satisfied  with  the  beliefs  and  practices  of  that  sect,  and  when  the  Mormon  Church 
emigrated  to  the  Great  Salt  Lake  Valley,  Utah,  in  1846,  he  with  his  wife,  who 


still  clung  to  that  religious  faith,  left  Nauvoo,  and  after  stopping  a  few  months  in 
Iowa,  where  he  purchased  and  owned  the  entire  site  of  Council  Bluffs,  they  finally 
settled  in  Wisconsin.  Their  daughter,  Harriet,  then  a  young  woman  of  twenty- 
one,  chose  to  accompany  the  Latter  Day  Saints  to  Salt  Lake. 

Lyman  Higley  purchased  a  farm  in  Columbia  County,  Wisconsin,  and  established 
a  home  at  Dekorra,  about  the  time  that  the  Territory  became  a  State.  For  some 
years  his  was  the  only  dwelling  between  the  two  county  seats,  Madison  and 
Portage.  Wisconsin  then  contained  but  forty  thousand  inhabitants.  He  was  a 
resident  of  the  State  the  remainder  of  his  life — forty-one  years,  and  witnessed  its 
remarkable  development  like  a  moving  panorama  continuously  before  him.  His 
second  wife  died  June  30,  1884.  In  October  of  that  year  he  removed  to  Eau 
Clare  County  to  reside  with  his  youngest  son.  His  faculties  remained  bright, 
and  he  was  interesting  to  the  last  days  of  his  long  and  eventful  life.  He  died  of 
apoplexy,  May  13,  1888,  aged  eighty-nine  years  and  six  months.  The  interment 
was  at  Hadleyville,  near  Eau  Claire.  Lyman  Higley  and  his  first  wife  were  the 
parents  of  five  children,  viz.: 

Harriet  R.,  Oliver,   Virgil,  Ezra  Marvin,  and  Addison. 

HARRIET  R.  HIGLEY,  their  eldest  child,  born  October  28,  1825,  resided  in  Utah. 
She  married  John  Hodge,  July  4,  1855.  He  died  September.  1868,  and  in  1876 
she  married  Lafayette  Williams.  She  died  at  Ogden,  Utah,  July  13,  1881. 

OLIVER  HIGLEY,  the  second  child,  born  January  28,  1828,  died  at  the  age  of  2j£ 

VIRGIL  HIGLEY,  the  third  child,  born  January  8,  1832,  married  Hannah  L.  Powers, 
August  I,  1855.  They  resided  at  Loveland,  Iowa,  afterward  removing  to  Pleasant 
Valley,  Wis.,  and  are  the  parents  of  three  children,  viz.:  Marian  Orilla,  born 
November  30,  1859  ;  Mary  Eugene,  born  December  7,  1863  ;  and  Charles,  born 
March  8,  1868  ;  all  born  in  Columbia  County,  Wisconsin. 

EZRA  MARVIN  HIGLEY,  the  fourth  child  of  Lyman  and  Orilla  Higley,  was  born 
July  26,  1834,  and  married  Sarah  A.  McNash,  March  18,  1851.  They  reside  at 
Eleva,  Trempealeau  County,  Wis.,  and  have  two  sons  living.  Two  daughters  died 
in  childhood.  The  sons  are  Lyman  O.,  born  October  2,  1889,  and  A  din  M.,  born 
December  19,  1875.  Both  are  married  and  have  families. 

ADDISON,  the  fifth  child  of  Lyman  and  Orilla  Higley,  was  born  January  19, 
1837.  He  married  first  Eliza  J.  McNash,  September  3,  1861,  who  died  May 
17,  1882.  His  second  wife  was  Jennie  A.  Lampman,  whom  he  married  Decem- 
ber 31,  1884.  His  children  by  his  first  wife  are,  Elmer  A.,  born  August  10,  1862  ; 
Harriet  O.,  born  November  9,  1865,  who  married  in  1885  Samuel  J.  Woodward  ; 
and  Samuel,  born  December  31,  1866.  By  the  second  wife,  John  V.,  born  Sep- 
tember 21,  1885  ;  and  William  L.,  born  November  26,  1886.  Addison  Higley 
resided  in  Columbia  County,  Wisconsin,  till  1866.  He  settled  with  his  family, 
October,  1868,  at  Pleasant  Valley,  Eau  Clare  County,  where  they  now  live. 

LOHAMA  HIGLEY,  the  sixth  child  of  Seth  Filer  and  Naomi  Holcombe  Higley, 
was  born  September  8,  1800.  She  married  Israel  Messenger,  of  one  of  the  old 
Windsor,  Conn.,  families  who,  early  settled  in  Granby.  They  resided  in  West 
Granby  for  many  years,  and  brought  up  a  family  of  three  sons  and  five  daughters. 
After  the  decease  of  her  husband  Luhama- Messenger  removed  to  Kingston,  N.  Y., 
and  resided  with  her  daughter,  Mrs.  Lucy  Bray,  until  her  decease,  March  3,  1888. 
Her  remains  were  brought  to  West  Granby,  Conn.,  and  interred  by  the  side  of  her 
husband.  Mrs.  Messenger  was  a  faithful  and  much  respected  member  of  the 
Methodist  Episcopal  Church.  She  had  children,  viz.  : 

Miranda,  born  March  18,  1821  ;  Manila,  born  February  21,  1822  ;  Philura, 
born  October  6,  1824  ;  Harlow,  born  October  2,  1826  ;  Harriet  L.,  born  January 



7,  1829  ;   Francis  /.,  born   May   15,    1833  ;   Lorenzo,  born  November  23,  1836  ; 
Lucy,  born  May  13,  1839. 

HARLOW  HIGLEY,  the  seventh  child  of  Seth  Filer  and  Naomi  Holcombe  Higley, 
was  born  July  18,  1802.  On  the  I3th  of  November,  1822,  when  a  young  man 
about  twenty,  he  sailed  for  the  Island  of  Cuba,  where  he  became  a  permanent 
citizen.  He  married  a  Cuban  lady  who  died  two  years  after,  leaving  no  child.  He 
so  fully  adopted  the  Spanish  language  and  customs,  that,  on  his  first  visit  to  his 
native  land  and  kindred,  after  an  absence  of  thirty-three  years,  he  seemed  of 
another  race  and  people.  It  was  with  some  difficulty  that  he  could  speak  his  native 
tongue.  But  he  did  not,  to  the  end  of  his  life,  lose  his  affection  for  his  childhood's 
home  and  his  family,  and  made  subsequent  visits  to  the  United  States.  He  was  »f 
stout  physique,  robust,  and  of  a  social  nature.  He  died  in  Cuba  in  1882. 

ORSEN  HIGLEY,  the  eighth  child  of  Seth  Filer  and  Naomi  Holcombe  Higley, 
was  born  February  II,  1806,  at  Simsbury,  Conn.  He  married  first  Susan  Parsons 
Griswold1  of  Granville,  Mass. ,  by  whom  he  had  three  children.  His  second  wife, 
to  whom  he  was  married  September  30,  1841,  was  Lucy  Keep  Holcombe  of 
Southwick,  Mass.  She  was  born  in  Elizabeth,  N.  J.,  August  n,  1822.  By 
this  marriage  there  were  five  children.  Orsen  Higley  was  a  man  of  good  abilities 
and  in  comfortable  circumstances.  At  one  time,  besides  his  farming  occupations, 
he  conducted  a  fair  business  in  fresh  meats,  and  later  on — about  1835 — he  built  and 
managed  a  well  kept  hotel  in  East  Granby.  He  possessed  a  gentle  nature,  and  was 
of  a  temperament  that  lived  much  within  himself.  He  was  a  citizen  much  respected. 
His  death  took  place  July  10,  1851.  He  lies  buried  in  the  ancient  cemetery  at 
Simsbury.  Mrs.  Lucy  K.  Higley,  his  widow,  who  is  now  living,  afterward 
married  Alonzo  Holcombe  of  Southwick,  Mass.,  who  died  many  years  ago.  She 
resides  with  her  married  daughters. 

HOMER  E.  HIGLEY,  the  eldest  child  of  Orsen  Higley,  was  born  November  14, 
1832.  He  removed  to  Illinois  when  a  young  man,  and  in  October,  1858,  married 
Mary  Denman  in  Elpaso,  Woodford  County,  of  that  State.  A  daughter  was  born 
to  them  in  January,  1860,  who  was  called  Fannie, 

JOHN,  the  second  child  of  Orsen  Higley,  was  born  in  East  Granby,  April  II,  1835. 
On  the  8th  of  January,  1866,  he  married,  in  St.  Louis,  Mo.,  Florence  De 
Latourette,  who  was  born  in  that  city,  April  22,  1849.  He  afterward  removed  to 
Kansas.  They  are  the  parents  of  four  children,  viz.: 

Jennie  Florence  Higley,  born  March  27,  1869  ;  Henry  Blossom,  born  October  27, 
1871  ;  Robert  D.,  born  December  31,  1875  ;  William  Joseph,  born  November  21, 
1883.  The  family  reside  in  Collinsville,  111.,  John  Higley  being  engaged  in  busi- 
ness in  the  Valley  Flour  Mills.  The  daughter,  Jennie  Florence,  is  an  efficient 
teacher  of  music  in  St.  Louis. 

SUSAN  J.,  the  third  child  of  Orsen  Higley,  was  born  August  26,  1840.  She 
married  Henry  Prentice.  They  resided  in  Bloomfield,  Conn,  She  died  August 
23,  1871,  and  was  laid  beside  her  father  in  the  Simsbury  cemetery.  She  left  no 

REV.  WALTER  ORSEN  HIGI.EY,  the  son  of  Orsen  and  his  second  wife,  Lucy 
Keep  Holcombe,  was  born  in  East  Granby,  Conn.,  June  12,  1842.  He  received  a 
common  school  education  and  worked  on  a  farm  until  he  was  seventeen  years  of 
age.  He  was  then  employed  in  a  hook  and  eye  manufactory  in  Unionville,  Conn., 
and  the  year  preceding  the  Civil  War  he  worked  in  Thompsonville,  Conn.  On  the 
I  cth  of  September,  1861,  when  nineteen  years  of  age,  he  enlisted  in  Company 
B,  8th  Connecticut  Infantry,  the  regiment  being  assigned  to  the  gth  Army 

1  The  date  of  her  decease  has  not  been  given. 


Corps  under  command  of  General  A.  E.  Burnside.  He  was  at  the  capture  of 
Roanoke  Island,  Newbern,  Fort  Macon,  and  Beaufort,  on  the  coast  of  North 
Carolina,  and  in  the  battles  of  South  Mountain  and  Antietam.  In  the  fight  at 
Antietam,  September  17,  1862,  he  was  wounded  in  the  right  forearm,  which  forced 
him  to  retire  from  the  service,  after  having  spent  six  months  in  an  army  hospital. 
He  received  an  honorable  discharge  March  13,  1863.  He  has  for  a  number  of 
years  received  a  Government  pension.  In  course  of  time  he  recovered  of  his  wound 
sufficiently  to  resume  business.  He  then  entered  the  manufacturing  establishment 
of  Charles  Cooper  &  Co.,  at  Thompsonville,  Conn.,  in  which  he  was  engaged 
three  years.  He  was  afterward  employed  as  a  builder,  but  again  entered  the 
spring  knitting-needle  manufactory  of  Charles  Cooper  &  Co. ,  on  the  removal  of  the 
concern  to  Bennington,  Vt. ,  in  which  connection  he  remained  fifteen  years.  During 
thirteen  years  of  this  period,  and  while  still  engaged  in  business  avocations,  he 
preached  the  gospel  at  Wood  ford,  Vt. 

On  the  loth  of  May,  1866,  he  married  Martha  Ellen  Davidson,  at  Thompson- 
ville, Conn.  She  was  born  November  I,  1841.  The  Rev.  Mr.  Higley  was  or- 
dained to  the  ministry  at  Woodford,  Vt.,  on  the  I2th  of  July,  1872,  where  he 
continued  to  fill  the  pulpit  acceptably  till  April,  1884.  He  then  accepted  the  charge 
of  the  Advent  Christian  Church  at  Sandy  Hill,  N.  Y.,  to  which  town  he  removed, 
and  devoted,  with  much  success,  his  entire  time  for  seven  years  to  his  pastoral 
work.  Early  in  1891  he  was  called  to  the  Advent  Christian  Church  (Gerard 
Place),  Hartford,  Conn.,  to  which  city  he  removed  with  his  family,  assuming  his 
charge  April  I,  where  he  has  since  occupied  an  important  sphere.  Mr.  Higley  is 
possessed  of  a  pleasing  address  and  an  attractive  style  and  cultivated  manner.  He 
is  earnest  and  sincere,  and  is  much  beloved  by  his  parishioners  and  all  who  know 
him.  The  Rev.  Walter  Orsen  and  Martha  Ellen  Higley  have  five  children,  viz.: 

Herbert  Samuel,  born  October  n,  1867,  in  Enfield,  Conn.,  who  is  in  the  employ 
of  a  large  merchantile  firm  of  Boston.  Clifford  Walter,  born  October  9,  1869,  in 
Bennington,  Vt.,  and  resides  in  Sandy  Hill,  N.  Y.  He  is  bookkeeper  in  the  firm 
of  Drake  &  Stratton,  Limited.  Carrie  May,  born  May  7,  1871,  in  Bennington, 
Vt.,  who  resides  with  her  parents.  Freddie  Andrew,  born  April  15,  1873,  in 
Bennington,  Vt.,  died  September  13,  1873.  William  Clark,  born  February  3, 
1876,  in  Bennington,  Vt.,  who  resides  with  his  parents. 

FLUVIA  AMELIA  HiGLEY,daughter  of  Orsen  and  Lucy  Holcombe  Higley,  was  born 
June  5,  1844,  in  Simsbury,  Conn.  On  the  5th  of  November,  1863,  she  married  Dwight 
H.  Cady,  who  was  born  in  Aganam,  Mass.,  March  31,  1841.  They  reside  in  Thomp- 
sonville, Conn.,  where  their  daughter,  Emma  Louisa,  was  born  January  I,  1872. 

SARAH  EI.IZA,  the  third  child  of  Orsen  and  Lucy  Holcombe  Higley,  was  born 
March  22,  1846,  at  Simsbury,  Conn.  She  married  at  Unionville,  Conn.,  February 
2,  1871,  Abram  Alphonzo  Johnson  of  Brooklyn,  N.  Y.,  in  which  city  they  resided 
for  several  years.  Mr.  Johnson  was  born  in  New  York  City,  January  28,  1846.  He 
is  of  the  firm  of  S.  M.  Johnson  &  Bro.,  cigar  and  tobacco  dealers  in  Wall  Street, 
New  York  City.  Their  children,  who  were  all  born  in  Brooklyn,  N.  Y.,  are  : 

Edwin  Hamilton,  born  June  25,  1872  ;  Frauds  Marilla,  December  21,  1873  ; 
Samuel  Walter,  November  13,  1876  ;  and  Raymond  Elaine,  December  22,  1881. 
The  family  reside  at  Springfield,  N.  J. 

LUCY  MARILLA,  the  fourth  child  of  Orsen  and  Lucy  Holcombe  Higley,  was  born 
at  Simsbury,  Conn.,  January  13,  1849.  She  married  at  Thompsonville,  Conn., 
July  14,  1870,  John  Elliot  Eaton,  who  was  born  in  Worcester,  Mass.,  February  18, 
1848.  They  reside  at  South  Headley  Falls,  Mass.  Their  children  are  : 

Charles  Davenport,  born  July  9,  1872,  and  William  Higley,  born  January  16,  1875. 

JULIETTA  ELIZABETH,  the  fifth  and  youngest  child  of  Orsen  and  Lucy  Holcombe 
Higley,  was  born  at  Simsbury,  Conn.,  March  12,  1851.  She  married  George 
Cornelius  Curtis  of  Harwinton,  Conn.,  November  22,  1873.  Mr.  Curtis  was  born 
July  5,  1845.  They  reside  at  Bristol,  Conn.  Their  children  are  : 

Sadie  E.,  born  January  20,  1878,  and  died  the  22d  of  the  following  June  ;  Ina, 
born  September  10,  1879  ;  and  George  Walter,  born  March  2,  1882. 


Continued  from  page  189. 

PETER  HIGLEY,  the  ninth  child  of  Seth  and  Naomi  Holcombe  Higley,  was  born 
at  Simsbury,  March  9,  1807.  His  manner  of  life  during  his  boyhood  years 
was  in  common  with  the  children  of  the  rural  households  of  his  time.  He  left 
home  when  quite  young — not  yet  twenty.  He  was  bright  and  active  and  soon 
found  a  means  for  livelihood.  For  more  than  two  years  he  conveyed  merchandise 
about  the  country,  selling  it  at  retail,  which  proved  a  profitable  business.  He 
learned  the  trade  of  harness-making,  which  he  followed  in  Union  Village,  N.  Y., 
till  his  eyesight  became  impaired,  when  he  removed  to  Cory,  Pa.,  before  the 
town  was  scarcely  founded,  and  while  the  surrounding  country  was  yet  a  wilder- 
ness. Here  he  purchased  and  opened  a  farm,  which  was  his  home  during  the 
remainder  of  his  life.  In  March,  1835,  he  married  Elvira  Colby,  daughter  of 
Joseph  Colby,  with  whom  he  lived  in  happy  union  for  forty-eight  years.  She  died 
May  n,  1883,  after  a  lingering  illness,  her  decease  removing  one  who  was  greatly 
beloved  and  missed  by  her  family  and  neighbors.  The  law  of  her  life  was  kindness. 
In  the  chamber  of  the  sick  she  was  a  ministering  angel.  Peter  Higley  lived  to  a 
good  old  age — eighty-three  years.  From  an  attack  of  pneumonia  in  the  early  winter 
of  1889  he  became  prostrated,  and  never  recovered  his  strength,  lingering  in  much 
patient  suffering  from  day  to  day  till  his  departure,  March  4,  1890.  His  gentle 
and  affectionate  disposition  caused  him  to  be  greatly  beloved  by  his  children  and 
grandchildren,  who  sincerely  mourned  his  loss.  He  was  interred  on  the  6th  of 
March  in  the  Steward  cemetery  at  Cory,  Pa.,  beside  his  wife  and  daughters. 
Their  children  were  as  follows  : 

Nancy  Jane,  born  December  23,  1835,  who  married  Jared  Blakslee  in  1853,  and 
died  March  7,  1859  ;  Betsey  Maria;  Count  Sobeiski;  Joseph  Eugene,  born  1843, 
and  died  1845  ;  Pember  Edson;  Ellajenelte,  born  1849,  and  died  1850,  and  Emma 

BETSEY  MARIA  HIGLEY,  the  daughter  of  Peter  and  Elvira  (Colby)  Higley,  was 
born  February  14,  1837,  and  married  John  D.  Palmer,  December  15,  1853.  Their 
children  were  : 

Melvin  L.,  born  December  16,  1855  ;  Peter  D.,  born  June  12,  1858  ;  Viola  J., 
born  January  6,  1862,  who  died  January  7,  1872  ;  Flora  K.,  born  August  13,  1864  ; 
Lillian  K.,  born  May  5,  1867  ;  Nellie  M.,  born  August  8,  1870 ;  Frank  D.,  born 
July  3,  1872  ;  and  Nellie  Jenetta,  born  July  28,  1880.  The  family  reside  at  Corry, 
Erie  County,  Pa, 

FLORA  R.,  daughter  of  John  ,D.  and  Betsey  M.  (Higley)  Palmer,  married  Isaac  McCray,  Sep- 
tember 27,  1883.  She  resides  with  her  father.  They  had  one  child,  Grace,  born  February  3,  1886. 

COUNT  SOBEISKI  HIGLEY,  the  eldest  son  of  Peter  and  Elvira  (Colby)  Higley, 
was  born  October  5,  1839,  and  married  Lizzie  Samis,  1869.  Their  children  are: 

Albert  P.  and  Allen  H.,  twins,  born  January  10,  1870  ;  Edward  J.,  born  January, 
1875,  and  Emma,  born  1878.  They  reside  at  Obi,  Allegheny  County,  N.  Y. 

PEMRER  EDSON  HIGLEY,  the  second  son  of  Peter  and  Elvira  (Colby)  Higley,  was 
born  September  12,  1845,  and  married  Julia  E.  Green,  February  9,  1868.  He 
served  his  country  three  years  in  the  late  Civil  War,  enlisting  January  5,  1864, 
in  the  I4$th  Regiment,  Pennsylvania  Volunteers,  Company  A,  and  was  after- 
ward transferred  to  the  53d  Pennsylvania  Regiment.  Besides  participating  in  a 
number  of  lively  skirmishes,  he  fought  in  the  battles  of  the  Wilderness,  Spottsyl- 
vania  Court  House,  Cold  Harbor,  Deep  Bottom,  Natchez  Run,  and  was  in  the 
siege  of  Petersburg.  During  his  time  of  service  he  lay  ill  of  fever  two  months  in 


Campbell  Hospital.     He  faithfully  served  till  the  close  of  the  war.     Pember  and 
Julia  (Green)  Higley  have  three  children  : 

Carrie  B.  born  April  19,  1869  ;  Frank,  born  April  25,  1872,  and  May,  born  June 
3,  1876.  They  reside  at  Corry,  Erie  County,  Pa. 

EMMA  ISADORE  HIGLEY,  the  youngest  child  of  Peter  and  Eliza  (Colby)  Higley, 
was  born  January  22,  1857,  and  married  John  A.  Lemon,  July  3,  1870.  They 
have  one  child,  George  Eugene,  born  September  9,  1872.  They  reside  in  Waverly, 
Spokane  County,  Wash. 

HOMER  HIGLEY,  2d,  the  eleventh  child '  of  Seth  Filer  and  Naomi  (Holcombe) 
Higley  [page  189]  was  born  at  Simsbury,  Conn.,  July  10,  1810.  He  went  South 
when  quite  a  young  man,  acting  as  a  traveling  agent  for  a  New  England  clock 
firm.  He  finally  settled  in  Texas  while  that  country  was  yet  an  independent  repub- 
lic, and  resided  at  Wharton,  where  he  married  and  lived  many  years.  He  accumu- 
lated property,  and  owned  slaves.  He  died  at  Wharton,  June  6,  1856.  He  left 
no  children. 

ERATUS  HIGLEY,  the  twelfth  child  of  Seth  Filer  and  Naomi  (Holcombe)  Higley, 
was  born  at  Simsbury,  Conn.,  September  8,  1812.  He  was  a  traveling  salesman 
for  a  Bristol,  R.  I.,  manufacturing  firm.  He  owned  a  considerable  property  in 
Illinois,  in  the  early  history  of  that  State.  He  never  married.  His  death  took 
place  suddenly,  August  14,  1847. 

DIANA,  the  thirteenth  and  youngest  child  of  Seth  Filer  and  Naomi  (Holcombe) 
Higley,  was  born  at  Simsbury,  Conn.,  March  19, 1815.  At  the  age  of  sixteen  years, 
March  12,  1831,  she  married  Luke  Mason  of  Simsbury  and  became  the  mother  of 
four  children.  Her  husband,  Luke  Mason,  died,  March  21,  1840.  Her  second 
marriage  took  place  April,  1843,  to  Clinton  Mather,  a  well-known  citizen  of  Canton, 
Conn.  Mrs.  Diana  Mather  was  a  communicant  in  the  Episcopal  Church,  a  faithful 
church  member.  She  possessed  a  loving  nature.  On  the  22d  of  February,  1879, 
Mr.  Mather  was  accidentally  thrown  from  his  sleigh,  his  head  striking  upon  a  rock, 
and  died  from  the  effects  of  the  injury  two  days  afterward.  His  death  caused  great 
sorrow  throughout  the  entire  community.  He  was  a  person  of  pleasant  and  affable 
manner,  of  strict  integrity,  living  truly  a  noble  life.  His  wife,  Diana  Higley, 
resided  during  her  last  widowhood  with  her  daughter,  Mrs.  J.  E.  Hamilton,  in 
Unionville,  Conn.  She  died,  June  6,  1888,  and  was  interred  in  Canton,  Conn. 
No  account  of  her  descendants  has  been  furnished. 


Continued  from  page  188. 
Levi,  Seth,  ist,  Brewster,  2d,  Brewster,  ist,  Captain   John. 

LEVI  HIGLEY  the  second  child  of  Seth  and  Mindwell  Higley, 
was  born  in  the  town  of  Simsbury,  Conn.,  in  the  year  1771.  He 
married  Hepsibah  Holcombe,  of  the  same  place,  and  settled  on  a 
farm  near  his  father's  home.  Our  information  concerning  his  life 
and  his  descendants  is  too  meager  and  uncertain  for  an  extended 

1  The  tenth  child  of  Seth  Filer  and  Naomi  (Holcombe)  Higley  was  also  named  Homer.     He  died 
in  infancy. 


It  appears,  however,  that  he  was  a  man  of  sterling  worth  and 
excellent  character.  That  he  was  enterprising  is  evidenced  by 
the  fact  that  in  1802,  he,  with  others,  made  a  prospecting  tour 
through  the  wilderness  of  Central  New  York,  with  a  view  to  join- 
ing the  tide  of  emigration  that  had  then  set  in  from  New  England. 
Two  years  later  he  emigrated  with  his  family,  in  company  with 
others,  including  his  younger  brothers  Oliver  and  Warren  and 
his  family,  to  Central  New  York,  and  settled  at  Pompey  Hill, 
Onondago  County,  where  he  cleared  the  forests,  became  a  pros- 
perous farmer,  and  reared  a  family  of  eleven  children.  He  died 
in  the  town  of  Spafford,  N.  Y.,  April  29,  1853,  aged  eighty-two 
years.  The  names  and  order  of  birth  of  these  children,  as  fur- 
nished by  Mrs.  PhideliaHigley  Doubleday,  since  deceased,  of  Cort- 
land,  N.  Y.,  who  was  the  youngest  of  the  eleven,  are  as  follows  : 

Levi  Jason,  Hepsibah,  Lyman,  Melissa,  Philura,  Isaac  Anson, 
William,  Harvey,  John,  Chauncey,  and  Phidelia. 

LEVI  JASON  was  born  in  Simsbury,  Conn.,  September  29,  1795. 
Died  at  Fayetteville,  N.  Y.,  in  1856.  He  was  twice  married; 
first  to  Sally  Cornish,  born  May  28,  1794,  died  September  16, 
1829.  They  had  four  children. 

JANE,  born  July  29,  1817  ;  married  H.  Cornish,  January  29,  1846,  and  after 
his  death  married  twice — Mr.  Thomas,  April  5,  1853,  and  Mr.  Hammond,  May 
8,  1861.  She  died  July  4,  1870. 

DANIEL,  son  of  Levi  Jason  Higley,  born  February  23,  1819 ;  married  Lenah 
Shaw,  March  25,  1849.  They  have  two  sons,  and  by  last  accounts  are  living  in 
Napanee,  Canada,  West.  The  older  son,  Daniel  Levi,  born  in  Picton,  Prince 
Edwards  County,  Canada,  West,  June  20,  1852.  Second  son,  Samuel  Richard, 
born  at  same  place,  April  12,  1855,  lives  in  California. 

DENISON,  born  October  27,  1821  ;  married  Jane  H.  Rownling,  August  18,  1858. 
They  are  now  living  at  Fayetteville,  N.  Y.,  and  have  one  daughter,  Florence  C. 

LEVI,  born  December  26,  1824.  Died  April  2,  1889,  in  Grand  View,  la.  He 
married  Anna  Elizabeth  Brown,  October  7,  1852.  They  had  three  sons,  as 
follows : 

DenisonJ.,  born  at  Fayetteville,  N.  Y.,  October  23,  1853  ;  married  Sarah  T. 
Warner,  October  17,  1883.  They  have  two  children  :  Ruth,  born  June  16,  1885, 
and  Bessie,  born  May  10,  1888.  He  is  a  prominent  physician  in  Grand  View,  la. 
William  JCerr,  born  in  Fayetteville,  N.  Y.,  July  31,  1858  ;  married  Harriet  E. 
Warner,  June  29,  1882.  He  is  a  successful  professor  in  the  Illinois  College  of 
Pharmacy  in  Chicago.  Charles Denton,  born  at  Hudson,  N.  Y.,  October  13,  1865  ; 
married  Mertie  E.  Allen,  March  13,  1890.  They  have  one  child,  Helen,  born 
December  23,  1891.  He  is  a  druggist  in  Syracuse,  N.  Y. 

The  children  of  Levi  Jason  Higley  by  his  second  wife,  Sally 
Clemont,  whom   he   married   December  31,  1829,  and  who   died 
March  19,  1884,  are  eight  in  number,  and  are  as  follows: 


Henry,  born  November  14,  1830  ;  married  Helen  Anderson,  May  8,  1860, 
and  Anna  Gilson,  October  8,  1873.  He  lives  at  Fairmount,  111.,  where  he  carries 
on  a  large  and  successful  business  as  one  of  the  proprietors  of  the  "Fairmount 
Mills  and  Elevator."  Sarah  M.,  born  August  26,  1832,  married  twice:  Still- 
man  Clark,  August  25,  1864  ;  and  John  Russell,  June  10,  1871.  They  live 
near  Berlin,  Wis.  Albert,  born  September  25,  1834.  Died  November  8,  1862. 
Lynian,  born  October  10,  1835.  Lives  in  Missouri.  Mary  F.,  born  February 
3,  1837  ;  married  Francis  Malolin,  June  23,  1855.  They  have  six  sons  and  one 
daughter  living.  Louisa  P.,  born  April  n,  1838  ;  married  A.  B.  Morrison, 
December  20,  1855.  They  have  three  sons  and  one  daughter.  Isaac,  born 
July  13,  1840  ;  married  Amelia  Burton,  May  12,  1868.  Lives  at  De  Ruyter, 
N.  Y.  He  was  sergeant  in  Company  D,  New  York  Volunteer  Engineers. 
Lucinda  M.,  born  February  12,  1845.  Died  October  31,  1848. 

HEPSIBAH,  daughter  of  Levi  and  Hepsibah  Higley.     No  data  of  her  received. 

LYMAN,  the  third  child,  married  Minerva  Chapin  ;  died  in  Brooklyn,  N.  Y. , 

MELISSA,  the  fourth  child,  married  a  Mr.  Carter. 

PHILURA,  the  fifth  child  .     No  data  of  her  received. 

ISAAC  ANSON,  the  sixth  child,  was  born  at  the  old  homestead  in  Pompey,  Onondago 
County,  N.  Y.,  in  1807.  While  a  young  man  he  went  to  Pottsville,  Pa.,  and  settled 
there.  His  daughter,  Emily  B.  Higley,  in  a  letter  dated  Minersvilla,  Pa.,  May  27, 
1895,  writes  of  her  family  as  follows  :  "My  father  married  Mary  B.  Falls  in 
December,  1832 — I  think  in  Pottsville,  Pa.  They  had  nine  children,  all  born  in 
Pottsville,  Pa.:  Jas.  H.,  in  1836;  Sarah  Jane,  1838;  Emily  B.,  1840;  John 
Harvey,  1843  ;  Mary,  1845  ;  Helen  M.,  1847  ;  Camilla,  1850  ;  Isaac  Anson,  1852, 
and  Chai.  A.,  1855.  Jas.  H.  and  John  Harvey  were  in  Company  A,  g6th  Pennsyl- 
vania Volunteers,  in  the  late  war.  The  former  died  of  camp  fever,  in  May, 
1862  ;  the  latter  was  wounded  in  the  battle  of  the  Wilderness,  and  died  in  August 
of  the  same  year.  Helen  married  Seth  Winslow  Geer,  attorney  at  law,  in  Sep- 
tember, 1865.  She  died  March  15,  1881.  Mr.  Geer  died  in  March,  1888. 
They  left  four  boys:  Benjamin,  Seth  W.,  Har-vey,  and  Joseph.  Mary  married 
Joseph  C.  Ramsey  in  April,  1869.  She  died  in  March,  1870.  The  two  surviving 
children  of  my  father  are  my  sister  Camilla  and  myself.  My  father  died  in  October, 
1856,  aged  forty-nine.  My  mother,  Mary  B.  died  April  19,  1894,  aged  eighty." 

In  a  letter  written  in  1889,  she  says:  "  My  mother  has  been  postmistress  of  this 
place — Minersville — continuously  since  1872,  and  has  filled  the  office  acceptably  to 
the  Department  at  Washington  and  to  the  people  here.  My  father  was  an  educated 
gentleman,  a  worthy  descendant  of  my  Higley  ancestors." 

WILLIAM,  seventh  child  of  Levi  and  Hepsibah  Higley.  We  have  no  further 

HARVEY,  the  eighth  child,  lived  recently  at  Hillsdale,  Mich. 

JOHN,  the  ninth  child.     No  data. 

CHAUNCEY,  the  tenth  child,  is  living  near  Angolia,  N.  Y. 

PHIDELIA,  the  eleventh  and  youngest  child  of  Levi  and  Hepsibah  Higley, 
married  Henry  Doubleday.  They  settled  in  Cortland,  N.  Y.,  where  she  died, 
December  15,  1891.  They  had  four  children,  all  living. 



Continued  from  page  188. 

"  Upon  the  great  dial-plate  of  ages 
The  light  advanced  no  more  recedes." 

By  Hon.  Warren  Higley  of  New  York  City. 

WARREN  HIGLEY,  the  fourth  son  of  Seth  and  Mindwell  Higley, 
and  grandson  of  Brewster,  2d,  was  born  on  the  old  homestead  in 
Simsbury,  Conn.,  November  10,  1775,  the  year  before  his  father, 
as  a  corporal  in  Captain  Case's  company,  joined  the  Continental 
Army,  and  marched  to  the  defense  of  New  York.  He  grew  to 
sturdy  manhood  amid  the  hardships  that  prevailed  during  the 
revolutionary  period  and  that  just  following.  On  reaching  his 
majority  he  married  Lucy  Sawyer,  a  beautiful  young  woman  of 
Pomfret,  Conn.,  and  settled  near  his  father's  home,  following  the 
occupation  of  his  ancestors — a  tiller  of  the  soil. 

In  the  following  year,  June  14,  1797,  the  first  child  was  born  to 
them,  Warren  Alson.  Then  followed  Chauncey,  May  13,  1799, 
Jacob  Sawyer,  January  3,  1802,  Lucy  Rosetta,  February  i,  1804,  mak- 
ing, no  doubt,  a  busy  hive  in  the  Simsbury  home.  The  father  and 
mother  were  still  young, — not  thirty, — and  were  naturally  looking 
for  larger  opportunities.  The  great  West  with  its  virgin  soil  in- 
vited settlers,  and  the  towns  of  New  England  were  sending  their 
sons  and  daughters  out  into  this  new  world,  so  lately  redeemed 
from  the  sway  of  English  rule  and  the  savagery  of  native  tribes. 
Alluring  inducements  were  offered  in  cheap  lands,  fertile  beyond 
comparison,  and  within  easy  access  of  the  natural  highways  of 
commerce,  in  Western  New  York,  in  Pennsylvania,  and  in  Ohio. 
There  were  three  principal  routes  through  which  the  tide  of 
emigration  was  pouring  its  flood  westward  ;  up  the  Mohawk 
Valley  into  Central  New  York,  and  thence  onward  via  Buffalo 
and  Lake  Erie  to  Northern  Ohio;  across  Southern  Pennsylvania 
and  over  the  mountains  to  the  headwaters  of  the  Ohio;  and 
down  the  Appalachion  Valley  and  thence  over  into  Kentucky  and 



Tennessee.  Land  companies  and  syndicates  were  active  in  secur- 
ing large  tracts  of  land  and  promoting  their  settlement.  For 
example,  Oliver  Phelps  of  Simsbury  and  Windsor,  Conn.,  and 
Nathaniel  Gorham,  purchased  in  1787  a  tract  of  land  containing 
two  and  a  quarter  millions  of  acres  lying  west  of  Seneca  Lake  in 
New  York  State.  This  tract  is  known  as  the  "Phelps  and  Gor- 
ham Purchase,"  and  constitutes  one  of  the  most  fertile  and 
beautiful  sections  of  the  State. 

In  1789  Oliver  Phelps  opened,  at  Canandaigua,  N.  Y.,  the  first 
land  office  in  America  for  the  sale  of  lands  to  settlers. 

It  appears  from  the  data  we  have,  that  Levi  Higley,  an  older 
brother  of  Warren,  went  with  others  to  Central  New  York  in  1802 
or  1803,  and  visited  that  part  of  the  wilderness  which  was  within 
easy  reach  of  the  wonderful  salt  springs  near  Syracuse.  Whether 
he  located  and  purchased  lands  at  that  time  does  not  appear. 
But  Levi  returned  to  Simsbury  for  his  family. 

In  the  spring  of  1804  Warren  Higley,  with  his  wife  and  young 
family,  his  brothers  Levi  and  Oliver,  and  others  of  the  neighbor- 
hood with  their  families,  left  the  home  and  surroundings  of  their 
forefathers  for  the  new  West,  of  which  they  had  heard  so  much. 
They  loaded  their  household  goods  and  necessary  provisions  on 
carts  and  wagons;  and  with  ox-teams  to  haul  them,  and  cows  to 
furnish  milk,  they  made  the  toilsome  journey  to  Central  New 
York,  and  settled  in  the  wilderness  at  Onondaga  Hill,  about  six 
miles  from  Syracuse.  The  log  house  was  quickly  built,  the  clear- 
ing made  for  the  corn  field  and  the  garden,  and  the  pioneer  life 

The  following  year,  October  25,  1805,  Emily  was  born;  Decem- 
ber 9,  1807,  Chester ;  July  21,  1813,  Rachel ;  October  5,  1815, 
Harriet  Rachel  j  making  a  family  of  eight  children,  all  of  whom, 
excepting  Lucy  Rosetta,  who  died  in  early  womanhood,  lived  to 
mature  £ge,  married,  and  had  families  of  children. 

Lucy  Sawyer  Higley,  the  mother,  was  a  woman  of  great  energy 
and  executive  ability,  and  of  remarkable  devotion  and  sweetness 
of  temper.  Up  to  the  time  of  her  death  she  strictly  observed  the 
tenets  of  her  church,  and  kept  her  Sabbath  from  sundown  on 
Saturday  night  to  the  setting  of  the  sun  on  Sunday,  during  which 
time  all  the  work  in  the  household  and  on  the  farm  was  sus- 
pended, excepting  that  of  necessity. 

Like  the  noble,  self-sacrificing  women  of  our  pioneer  times, 
she  not  only  performed  the  household  duties,  but  spun  and  wove 


the  flax  and  the  wool,  and  cut  and  made  the  garments  for  the 
family;  and  a  most  excellent  cook  and  housekeeper  and  manager 
she  was.  There  were  no  "  hired  girls  "  in  those  early  days,  but  the 
spirit  of  helpfulness  pervaded  the  family  and  the  neighborhood, 
and  thereby  the  burdens  were  lightened,  and  peace  and  content- 
ment reigned.  Thus  was  the  large  family  reared,  and  sturdy 
character  formed  for  the  responsibilities  of  mature  years. 

There  are  few,  if  any,  striking  events  in  the  life  of  the  farmer; 
and  none  in  the  subject  of  this  sketch  worthy  of  note,  unless  it 
be  the  fact  that  he,  imbibing  the  military  spirit  like  his  ancestors, 
was  chosen  captain  of  the  local  artillery  company,  and  near  the 
close  of  the  War  of  1812  went  with  his  company  to  Niagara 
Falls,  to  serve  his  country.  But  peace  came  before  his  battery" 
was  called  into  active  service.  He  died  at  the  home  of  his 
daughter,  Emily,  near  the  site  of  the  old  homestead,  on  Onondaga 
Hill,  of  a  virulent  attack  of  smallpox,  May  16,  1848.  His  faith- 
ful wife  survived  him  but  a  few  months,  and  died  in  the  same  place, 
August  27,  1848.  Seven  sons  and  daughters  survived  them. 

In  height  they  were  above  the  medium,  the  husband  standing 
six  feet,  broad-shouldered  and  well  proportioned,  and  more  than 
usually  good-looking.  They  both  had  fine  physical  constitutions, 
wholly  free  from  taints;  and,  consequently,  health  and  vigor 
characterized  the  children,  an  inheritance  that  cannot  be  too 
highly  valued. 

The  Onondaga  salt  springs  had  for  a  number  of  years  made 
this  section  well-known  throughout  the  State.  These  were  about 
seven  miles  distant,  and  furnished  the  early  settlers  an  oppor- 
tunity to  get  a  little  ready  money,  for  these  springs  were  in  the 
State  Reservation,  and  freely  utilized  by  the  settlers  in  that 
vicinity  for  securing  what  they  wanted  for  use;  and  the  more 
enterprising  manufactured  considerable  quantities  of  salt  for  the 
market.  All  Western  New  York  depended  on  these  springs  for 
its  supply  of  salt.  It  used  to  sell  for  about  fifty  cents  per  bushel, 
and  a  fair-sized  family  would  make  about  fifty  bushels  per  week 
in  favorable  weather,  and  so  reap  a  good  income  for  those  times. 

The  forests  yielded  an  abundance  of  sugar  for  the  family. 
The  "  men-folks"  in  the  early  spring  were  accustomed  to 
make  about  two  tons  of  maple  sugar  for  the  year's  supply.  The 
expense  was  slight;  iron  kettles,  pot- rack,  iron  ladles,  augers 
for  boring,  and  buckets  for  carrying  the  sap,  were  everything 
needed  beyond  what  the  workmen  themselves  could  supply  with 


the  ax.  During  this  season  the  neighborhood  was  kept  very 
gay  by  the  frequent  parties  given  at  "  sugaring-off"  times,  when 
they  ate  the  delicious  wax  from  the  snow,  or  sipped  the  rich  aro- 
matic syrup,  dipped  hot  from  the  kettle;  the  newly-made  sugar 
was  added  to  the  feast  according  to  taste. 

The  pioneer  life  had  its  charms  and  pleasures  as  well  as  its 
hardships  and  sorrows.  Their  tastes  were  simple;  their  family 
wants  were  few  beyond  what  the  farm  supplied.  They  were 
neighborly,  helpful,xone  to  another;  they  were  honest  and  trusty. 
The  doors  of  their  houses  were  without  bolts,  and  "the  latch- 
string  was  always  out."  A  sort  of  Arcadian  life  was  led  by  these 
early  settlers  at  Onondaga,  so  far  as  can  be  gleaned  from  the 
records,  and  peace  and  happiness  and  prosperity  prevailed  among 

WARREN  ALSON,  the  first  child  of  Warren  and  Lucy  Sawyer 
Higley,  was  born  in  Simsbury,  Conn.,  on  Wednesday,  June  14, 
1797.  He  died  at  the  home  of  his  son,  Hulbert,  in  Trempeleau 
County,  Wisconsin,  October  14,  1871.  He  lived  on  the  farm  with 
his  parents  until  his  marriage  with  Permelia  Duell,  daughter  of  a 
prominent  farmer  of  that  section,  on  March  4,  1824.  He  settled 
on  a  farm  at  Onondaga  Hill,  where  his  children  were  born  and 
brought  up,  viz. :  Juliette,  Hulbert,  and  Marian. 

JULIETTE,  born  October  9,  1825.  October  14,  1846,  she  married  Charles  R. 
Borradaile  of  Sodus,  Wayne  County,  N.  Y.,  a  gentleman  of  excellent  family  and  high 
standing.  They  settled  in  Sodus,  N.  Y.,  and  enjoyed  many  years  of  happiness  and 
prosperity.  They  had  three  children  : 

EMMA  J.,  the  eldest,  was  born  July  25,  1848  ;  was  married  to  Dr.  C.  H.  Eggleston 
of  Marshall,  Mich.,  April  22,  1869.  They  settled  in  Marshall,  Mich.,  where  he 
became  prominent  and  prosperous  in  his  profession,  and  she  an  angel  of  mercy 
to  the  distressed.  She  died  June  18,  1889.  They  had  three  children  : 

Nina  Juliett,  born  January  22,  1870;  Kittle  Adah,  born  April  I,  1874,  an<J 
Edwy  Borradaile  Reid,  born  at  Allegan,  Mich.,  December  2,  1886. 

MARY  ADAH  BORRADAILE,  the  second  child,  was  born  at  Sodus,  March  9,  1850  ; 
married  Edwy  C.  Reid  of  Allegan,  Mich.,  August  28,  1876,  where  they  still  live. 

CHARLES  HIGLEY  BORRADAILE,  their  third  child,  was  born  at  Sodus,  March  3, 
1856.  Not  married.  Has  long  been  a  resident  of  Marshall,  Mich.,  prosperous  in 
business,  and  very  highly  respected  by  all  who  know  him. 

HULBERT  HIGLEY,  only  son  of  Warren  Alson  and  Permelia  Duell  Higley,  was 
born  at  Onondaga  Hill,  January  10,  1828.  He  grew  up  on  the  farm  and  lived 
according  to  the  custom  of  those  days.  He  married  Mary  A.  Victs  of  Orangeville, 
Pa.,  March  25,  1856.  He  soon  after  went  with  his  bride  to  the  State  of  Wisconsin 
and  settled  on  a  farm  in  Neshonac,  La  Crosse  County.  They  have  seven  children, 
as  follows : 



Leonora  Emma,  born  April  26,  1857,  at  Neshonac,  La  Crosse  County,  Wis. 
Was  married  at  Centerville,  Trempeleau  County,  Wis.,  December  22,  1875,  to 
Zalmon  S.  Martin  of  the  same  place.  They  have  had  four  children  : 

Edith  Lyle,  who  was  born  November  24,  1876,  at  Centerville,  Trempeleau 
County,  Wis.  ;  Harold  Arthur,  who  was  born  October  16,  1878,  at  same  place  ; 
Mabel  Emma,  born  December  4,  1880,  at  Jamestown,  Stutsman  County,  North 
Dak.  ;  Florence  Cordelia,  born  November  8,  1886,  at  the  same  place. 

Warren  A.,  son  of  Hulbert  and  Mary  A.  Higley,  was  born  September  6,  185-, 
at  Neshonac,  and  at  last  advices  was  still  a  bachelor.  Emma  Jane  was  born  at 
the  same  place,  June  n,  1863.  She  was  married  at  Hale,  Trempeleau  County, 
Wis.,  March  30,  1881,  to  William  J.  Gordon,  of  the  same  place,  and  had  a  son, 
fohn  Emory,  born  May  9,  1884.  Florence  Permelia  was  born  October  n,  1866, 
at  Trempeleau,  WTis.  Nellie  May,  was  born  January  27,  1870,  at  the  same  place. 
Marian  Juliette,  was  born  December  7,  1879,  at  Hale,  Wis.  Samantha  Mabel, 
was  born  May  14,  1882,  at  Jamestown,  Stutsman  County,  North  Dak.,  to  which 
place  her  parents  had  removed  and  settled. 

MARIAN  HIGLEY,  third  and  youngest  child  of  Warren  Alson  and  Permelia  Duell 
Higley,  was  born  at  Onondaga  Hill,  April  27,  1830.  She  was  married  at  Onondaga 
Hill,  May  12, 1854,  to  William  J.  Hillabrant  of  Syracuse,  N.  Y.  Died  at  her  home 
in  Marshall,  Mich.,  1895.  She  was  a  beautiful  woman,  and  most  devoted  mother, 
respected  and  loved  by  all  who  knew  her.  They  had  three  children,  viz., 

Willis  Duell,  George  M.,  Charles  H. 

WILLIS  DUELL  was  born  at  Salina,  N.  Y.,  February  21,  1855.  He  married 
in  Chicago,  June  5,  1884,  Miss  Kate  Kenny,  daughter  of  the  late  Judge  Kenny 
of  Ashland,  O.  They  reside  in  Chicago,  and  have  a  daughter,  born  May  29,  1885, 
christened  Susan  Marian. 

GEORGE  M.  HILLABRANT  was  born  at  Marshall,  Mich  ,  July  5,  1858  ;  died 
August  u,  1859. 

CHARLES  H.,  was  born  at  Marshall,  Mich.,  September  14,  1860,  where  he  still 

CHAUNCEY  HIGLEY,  the  second  child  of  Warren  and  Lucy 
Sawyer  Higley,  was  born  in  Simsbury,  Conn.,  May  13,  1799.  He 
grew  to  be  a  healthy,  strong,  energetic  young  man  under  the  care 
and  influence  of  the  pioneer  home.  At  the  age  of  fifteen  he 
enlisted  for  the  war  (1812-14)  in  the  local  company  under  Captain 
Forbes,  and  marched  to  the  defense  of  Sackett's  Harbor,  at  that 
time  threatened  by  the  British.  Colonel  Ellis  was  his  regimental 
commander.  He  remained  in  the  service  until  the  close  of  the 
war.  In  after  life  he  was  a  pensioner,  and  so  continued  up  to  the 
time  of  his  death.  He  became  a  skilled  distiller,  and  was  early 
appointed  to  the  charge  of  large  establishments.  The  business 
in  those  days  was  not  clouded  by  any  influence  of  temperance 
agitation.  It  was  held  in  equal  honor  with  that  of  other  call- 


ings — and  he  prospered  in  it.  He  was  a  very  temperate  man  all 
his  life,  of  the  strictest  integrity,  a  consistent  Christian,  a  member 
and  officer  of  the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church,  and  always  a 
good,  patriotic  citizen. 

At  the  age  of  twenty-one,  May  2,  1820,  in  the  town  of  Owasco, 
adjoining  the  then  village  of  Auburn,  N.  Y.,  he  married  Margaret 
Head,  who  was  born  at  Springfield,  Otsego  County,  N.  Y., 
May  25,  1804. 

For  twenty  years  he  lived  in  different  places  in  New  York 
State, — Owasco,  Auburn,  Port  Byron,  Sennett, — and  in  the 
spring  of  1840  went  to  Ohio,  via  the  Erie  Canal  and  Lake  Erie, 
the  usual  route  of  travel  then,  with  all  his  family  and  household 
goods,  and  settled  on  a  farm  in  Westfield,  Delaware  County,  O. 
He  afterward  devoted  three  years  to  the  business  of  distilling  in 
West  Cleveland,  and  four  years  in  Newark,  O.,and  then  returned 
to  his  farm,  and  continued  a  farmer  for  the  remainder  of  his  life. 

His  daughter,  Adeline,  in  a  letter  dated  Cardington,  O.,  May 
31,  1887,  wrote:  "I  can  say  for  my  father,  that  in  character  he 
is  second  to  none.  He  has  lived  a  long  life  of  usefulness,  always 
showing  his  Christianity  in  his  liberality  to  the  poor  and  to  the 
Church.  He  always  took  sunshine  with  him  wherever  he  went. 
He  often  says  that  he  has  lived  out  his  time  and  is  only  waiting." 
He  died  at  the  home  of  his  youngest  daughter,  Emily,  in  the  town 
of  Ashley,  Delaware  County,  O.,  July  29,  1887,  in  the  eighty- 
ninth  year  of  his  age. 

LUCY  ROSETTA,  the  eldest  child,  was  born  in  the  town  of  Owasco,  Cayuga  County, 
N.  Y.,  March  14,  1822.  In  1840  she  accompanied  her  parents  to  Ohio,  and  was 
there  married  to  Edward  Terry  of  New  York,  June  30,  1842,  at  their  home  in 
Westfield.  They  settled  near  Cardington,  O.,  and  brought  up  a  family  of  seven 
children,  all  of  whom  were  married  and  living  in  1887.  She  was  left  a  widow  in 
1867.  Their  children : 

Emaline  was  born  April  I,  1843  ;  married  January  I,  1860,  to  John  W.  Mere- 
dith. Adeline  was  born  January  13,  1845  ;  married  November  12,  1865,  to  Leroy 
P.  Slack.  Henrietta  was  born  April  8,  1848  ;  married  November  14,  1869,  to 
James  Potter.  Bradford was  born  August  13,  1852  ;  married  October  23,  1873,  to 
Mary  Sands.  James  and  Jane,  twins,  were  born  June  21,  1856.  Jane  was  mar- 
ried July  26,  1879,  to  Simeon  Glaze.  James  was  married  November  2,  1884,  to 
Mary  Aldrich.  Florence  was  born  October  9, 1860  ;  married  June  6, 1881,  to  Cyrus 
E.  Weatherby. 

The  mother  writes  from  Cardington,  O.,  June  5,  1887  :  "By  these  I  have  twenty- 
one  grandchildren.  Now  comes  the  old  adage,  '  Large  streams  from  little  fountains 
flow.'  A  pretty  good  list  for  one  Higley,  don't  you  think  ?  " 

ARETAS,  second  child  of  Chauncey  and  Margaret  Higley,  was  born  in  Auburn, 
N.  Y.,  March  29,  1824,  and  died  October  24,  following. 


ADELINE  E.  was  born  in  Auburn,  N.  Y.,  September  24,  1825.  She  was  married 
at  her  father's  home  in  Westfield,  O.,  September  7,  1842,  to  George  B.  Terry, 
brother  of  her  sister's  husband.  He  died  April  3,  1855,  leaving  her  a  widow  with 
four  children,  viz.  : 

Evaline,  born  July  2,  1844  ;  married  Reuben  P.  Smith.  She  died  February 
IO,  1870,  leaving  two  children.  Margaret  Ann,  born  August  n,  1846;  married 
William  H.  H.  Smith.  They  have  seven  children.  Chauncey  G.,  born  March  II, 

1849  ;  married .  They  have  seven  children.  George  B.,  Jr.,  bom  July  27, 

1851  ;  married .  They  have  four  children. 

After  living  a  widow  for  seventeen  years,  she  married  Taylor  Barge  of  Carding- 
ton,  O.,  where  they  now  live. 

WARREN  HIGLEY,  fourth  child  of  Chauncey  and  Margaret  A.  Higley,  was  born 
at  Auburn,  N.  Y.,  December  10,  1827,  and  died  December  9,  1828. 

EDWIN  R.  was  born  at  Auburn,  N.  Y  ,  November  25,  1829.  Married  in  Ohio, 
April  17,  1850,  to  Catherine  Devar  of  Newark,  O.  They  settled  on  a  farm  near 
his  father's,  and  had  nine  children  : 

Frank  G.,  born  August  15,  1851  ;  Jane  J.,  born  July  10,  1853  ;  Delphine, 
Clara  Estclla,  Ella  Jane,  Jessie,  William,  Howard  C.,  and  George. 

His  wife  died  not  long  after  the  birth  of  George,  and  after  about  two  years  he 
took  to  himself  a  second  wife,  by  whom  he  had  seven  children  up  to  August,  1887  : 
John  Sherman,  Emily  Rosetta,  Charles,  Chauncey,  Lewis,  Curtis  Jay,  and  Joseph 
Gran-ville.  All  were  living  at  last  advices — sixteen. 

DESIRE  R.,  daughter  of  Chauncey  and  Margaret  Higley,  was  born  in  Butler, 
Wayne  County,  N.  Y.,  September  13,  1832.  Married  December  24,  1850,  in 
Newark,  O  ,  to  James  F.  Peyton.  She  died  May  3,  1852. 

EMILY  S  ,  daughter  of  Chauncey  and  Margaret  Higley,  was  born  in  Westfield, 
O.,  April  6,  1841.  Married  at  her  fathers  house  in  Ashley,  O.,  December  24, 
1859,  Peter  Z.  Hopper,  of  Hackensack,  N.  J.  They  reside  at  Ashley,  O.  Six 
children  were  born  to  them  :  Herbert,  October  29,  1860  ;  died  February  27,  1861. 
Charles,  April  14,  1862.  Margaret,  July  27,  1864.  Levi  J.t  August  6,  1866. 
Chauncey,  September  19,  1871,  and  Lizzie,  July  4,  1876. 

JACOB  SAWYER,  third  child  of  Warren  and  Lucy  Higley,  was 
born  in  Simsbury,  Conn.,  January  3,  1802,  and  was  over  two  years 
old  when  his  parents  moved  into  the  wilderness  of  Onondaga. 
He  developed  a  splendid  physique,  and  a  strong,  manly  character 
under  the  influence  of  farm  life  and  the  busy  cultured  home. 

On  November  10,  1822,  not  yet  twenty-one,  he  married  Nancy 
Delina  Spencer,  the  daughter  of  a  neighboring  farmer.  He  was 
powerful  in  strength,  of  a  kind  and  generous  nature,  noble 
character,  and  a  most  exemplary  husband  and  father.  He  died 
May  15,  1873.  His  devoted  wife  had  died  October  28,  1866. 

His  grandson,  Rev.  Elmer  Higley,  writes:  "In  1827,  my 
grandfather  moved  to  Wayne  County,  N.  Y.,  in  company  with  his 
brother  Chauncey.  In  1831  he  moved  to  Cattaraugus  County, 


N.  Y.  From  there  he  moved  to  Conneaut  Township,  Crawford 
County,  Pa.,  in  1835,  settling  each  time  in  the  wilderness.  In 
1845  he  moved  to  Millcreek  Township,  Williams  County,  O. 
Here  he  cleared  the  land  and  followed  farming.  He  lived  there 
until  his  decease  in  1874— his  death  occurring,  however,  in 
Munroe  County,  Mich.,  while  visiting  at  the  home  of  his  eldest 
son  Sheldon." 

They  had  ten  children, — six  boys  and  four  girls, — whose  names 
and  dates  of  birth  are  as  follows,  as  taken  from  the  family  record  : 
Sheldon,  born  August  4,  1823;  Emulus,  November  13,  1825;  Ben- 
jamin, March  10,  1827,  no  further  data;  Lucy  M.,  December  7, 
1828  ;  Austin,  April  5,  1830  ;  Harriet,  April  i,  1832;  Emily  J.,  July 
4,  1835;  Miles  Warren,  April  22,  1842;  Elba,  July  17,  1844;  Janette, 
February  i,  1851,  no  data. 

The  following  deaths  are  recorded:  Emily  J.,  August,  1847, 
aged  twelve  years;- Austin  was  killed  in  the  late  war  near  Atlanta, 
Ga.,  July  24,  1864;  Harriet  G.  died  April  18,  1888. 

SHELDON  HIGLEY,  eldest  son  of  Jacob  Sawyer  and  Nancy  Delina  Spencer, 
farmer,  resides  at  Bancroft,  Kossuth  County,  la. 

EMULUS  HIGLEY,  resides  at  Coopersville,  Ottaway  County,  Mich. 

LUCY  MARILLA,  married  Amos  Sullivan  in  1843;  he  died  in  1853.  They  had 
two  children,  Emma  Rossetta  and  Cornelius  Eugene.  February  24,  1859,  she 
married  Solomon  Rogers,  who  died  September  10,  1887.  She  now  lives  in  Stryker, 
Williams  County,  O. 

AUSTIN  HIGLEY,  the  fifth  child  of  Jacob  Sawyer  and  Nancy  D.  Higley,  served  in 
the  Mexican  War,  and  until  the  beginning  of  the  late  war  lived  on  the  frontier, 
where  he  served  as  an  Indian  scout  and  encountered  many  dangers.  He  was 
three  years  in  the  gold  regions  of  California.  In  1861  he  enlisted  in  the  68th  Ohio 
Volunteers,  Company  I,  and  went  to  the  Civil  War.  He  was  wounded  in  an  engage- 
ment near  Atlanta,  Ga.,  July  21,  1864,  and  died  three  days  after. 

HARRIET  C.  HIGLEY,  the  sixth  child,  married  William  Moore,  a  fanner,  living  in 
Bridgewater  Township,  Williams  County,  O.  They  had  three  children,  only  one 
of  whom  is  living — Samuel. 

MILES  WARREN  HIGLEY,  the  seventh  child,  was  born  in  Conneaut  Township, 
Crawford  County,  Pa.  His  father  moved  to  Williams  County,  O.,  three  years  after. 
In  1861  he  enlisted  in  the  6ist  Regiment,  Ohio  Volunteers,  and  served  in  the  war 
to  its  close.  He  was  wounded  at  Champion  Hills,  near  Vicksburg,  May  16,  1863. 
He  married  Amanda  Ann  Snow,  September  18,  1863.  Three  children  were  born 
to  them  :  Elmer,  July  6,  1867  ;  Fred,  October  i,  1868  ;  and  Orin,  July  23,  1872. 
In  1881  they  moved  to  Conneautville,  Pa.,  where  they  still  reside. 

The  Rev.  ELMER  HIGLEY,  eldest  son  of  Miles  W.  and  Amanda  A.  Higley,  was 
born  near  Pioneer,  Williams  County,  O.,  July  6,  1867.  When  fourteen  years  old  his 
parents  moved  to  Conneautville,  Pa.,  where  he  enjoyed  the  advantages  of  the  com- 
mon school,  and  three  years  after  entered  the  high  school,  from  which  he  was  gradu- 
ated in  1887.  After  teaching  one  year,  and  spending  one  year  in  travel,  he  entered 


DESCENDANTS  OF  SETH  HIGLEY,\ST.  •         207 

Alleghany  College,  Meadville,  Pa.,  where  he  pursued  the  classical  course  to  the 
senior  year,  when,  in  1891,  he  entered  the  ministry,  and  since  then  has  filled 
pastorates  in  the  Methodist  Episcopal  Church.  While  serving  in  the  ministry 
he  has  completed  the  college  course  of  studies,  and  will  graduate  in  '96.  He 
married  Alice  C.  Dowler,  August  16,  1892,  and  is  now  the  settled  pastor  of  the 
Methodist  Episcopal  Church  at  Milesgrove,  Pa. 

ELBA  HIGLEY,  daughter  of  Jacob  Sawyer  aud  Nancy  Delina  Spencer,  married 
Jerry  Zolomon,  and  now  resides  near  Pioneer,  Williams  County,  O. 

EMILY  J.  HIGLEY,  their  seventh  child,  married  Leander  Zolomon.  They 
reside  near  West  Unity,  Williams  County,  O. 

LUCY  ROSETTA  HIGLEY,  fourth  child  of  Warren  and  Lucy_ 
Sawyer  Higley,  was  born  in  Simsbury,  Conn.,  February  i,  1804, 
and  was  therefore  a  babe  in  arms  when  her  parents  removed  to 
Central  New  York.  Family  tradition  says  that  she  was  an 
unusually  beautiful  and  lovely  child,  and  that  her  early  death, 
March  25,  1816,  was  the  cause  of  deep  and  widespread  sorrow. 

EMILY  HIGLEY,  fifth  child  of  Warren  and  Lucy  Sawyer  Higley, 
was  born  in  Onondaga  County,  N.  Y.,  October  25,  1805,  soon 
after  the  first  crop  of  corn  was  gathered  from  the  new  lot.  She 
developed  a  strong,  beautiful  character,  and  lived  respected  and 
loved  by  all  who  knew  her. 

In  1822,  at  the  age  of  seventeen,  she  married  Newel  Wiard,  the 
son  of  a  neighboring  farmer.  They  remained  childless  for  nearly 
ten  years  when  their  first  child, 

FLORA  E.,  was  born,  May  7,  1832.  She  grew  to  be  a  very  attractive  and  highly 
accomplished  young  lady.  While  spending  the  winter  of  1858  with  friends  in  the 
far  South,  she  became  ill  and  died  in  Handsboro,  Miss.,  at  the  age  of  twenty-six. 

CHARLES  WIARD,  the  second  child  of  Newel  and  Emily  Higley  Wiard,  was  born 
March  2,  1834  ;  married  June  27,  1860,  at  Onondaga  Hill,  an  accomplished  and 
highly  educated  lady,  Mary  C.  Annable,  and  settled  on  the  homestead  with  his 
parents.  He  was  a  farmer,  and  continued  to  live  where  they  first  settled  until  his 
death,  which  occurred  January  9,  1890.  Three  children  were  born  to  them: 

Flora  E.,  August  n,  1861.  She  married  March  4,  1886,  Henry  H.  Hamilton. 
On  February  20,  1887,  a  daughter  was  born,  whom  they  named  Bertha.  Frank 
C.  was  born  May  20,  1865,  and  at  last  advices  was  a  bachelor.  Lyman  A.  was 
born  July  2,  1874. 

CHESTER  HIGLEY,  the  sixth  child  and  fourth  son  of  Warren  and 
Lucy  Sawyer  Higley,  was  born  December  9,  1807.  He  grew  to 
a  lusty  manhood  in  the  old  home,  and  was  noted  for  his  genial 
nature,  generous  spirit,  and  industrious  habits.  When  about 
eighteen  he  joined  his  brother  Chauncey,  who  was  then  in 
charge  of  "  Garrow's  Distillery  "  at  Auburn,  N.  Y.  After  serv- 


ing  his  apprenticeship,  he  had  charge  of  large  distilleries  in 
different  parts  of  the  State,  until  1845.  The  remainder  of  his 
life  was  spent  on  a  farm  in  the  town  of  Owasco,  Cayuga  County, 
N.  Y.  He  died  at  his  home  near  Auburn  after  a  brief  illness, 
May  3,  1875.  He  was  of  a  strong  and  vigorous  constitution,  and 
until  his  last  illness  had  seldom  experienced  a  sick  day. 

In  1828,  July  6,  he  married  Prudence  Miller,  then  residing  with 
her  grandparents  on  West  Genesee  Street,  Auburn,  N.  Y.  She 
was  born  at  Pine  Hill,  N.  Y.,  September,  30,  1809.  Her  father, 
George  Miller,  emigrated  from  Southeastern  New  York  in  the 
early  part  of  the  century  and  settled  with  his  family  near  Albion, 
N.  Y.,  and  brought  up  a  large  family.  She  died  January  5,  1882, 
at  the  home  of  her  daughter,  Mrs.  Eliza  Nickason,  in  Auburn, 
N.  Y. 

Chester  and  Prudence  Miller  Higley  had  a  family  of  five  chil- 
dren, viz.: 

COLLINS  JACOB,  born  at  Auburn,  N.  Y.,  May  5,  1829.  He  grew  to  young  man- 
hood, strong,  healthy,  genial,  of  fair  skin,  black  hair,  and  large  brown  eyes.  He 
was  well  educated,  served  an  apprenticeship,  according  to  the  custom  of  that  time, 
at  the  joiner's  trade  in  Auburn,  N.  Y.,  and  during  this  period  joined  the  local 
brass  band  and  began  the  study  of  music,  Afterward  he  became  quite  distin- 
guished as  a  musician.  At  the  age  of  twenty-one  he  abandoned  his  trade  and 
devoted  himself  to  music.  He  traveled  for  many  years  as  a  leading  musician,  and 
was  very  skilled  and  unusually  popular  with  his  craft.  As  opportunity  offered,  he 
composed  and  arranged  music  for  local  bands. 

About  the  year  1858  or  1859  he  went  with  a  party  from  Chicago  overland  to  Pike's 
Peak,  Col.,  to  mine  gold.  They  went  with  a  full  outfit  of  teams,  cattle,  provisions, 
and  tools,  and  were  many  weeks  in  making  the  journey  across  the  plains.  He  sent 
favorable  reports  for  the  following  two  years,  and  in  the  early  summer  of  1861  he 
wrote,  inquiring  anxiously  for  news  of  the  war,  and  saying  that  he  would  soon  be 
able  to  return  East  with  a  good  competence.  The  letter  in  reply  was  returned 
through  the  dead  letter  office  at  Washington.  He  has  not  been  heard  from  since. 
It  is  thought  that  he  must  have  lost  his  life  in  some  one  of  the  border  conflicts  that 
prevailed  between  the  Union  and  Confederate  forces  about  tliat  time.  He  never 

GEORGE  MILLER,  second  son  of  Chester  and  Prudence  Higley,  was  born  in 
Auburn,  N.  Y.,  April  I,  1831.  He  died  from  the  effects  of  a  railroad  accident  in 
Nashville,  Tenn.,  in  the  fall  of  1879.  He  was  twice  married,  but  left  no  children 

He  was  in  the  railroad  business  a  large  part  of  his  life,  as  master  of  freight, 
engineer,  conductor,  etc.  He  was  conductor  of  a  war  train,  under  General 
McPherson,  in  the  late  war,  and  did  daring  and  effective  service  for  the  Union 


By  the  Editor, 
Warren,  Chester,  Warren,  Seth,  ist,  Brewster,  zd,  Brewster,  ist,  Captain  John  Higley. 

WARREN  HIGLEY  (of  New  York  City),  the  youngest  son  of 
Chester  and  Prudence  Miller  Higley,  was  born  in  Genoa,  near 
Auburn,  N.  Y.,  July  i,  1833.  He  is  a  lineal  descendant  in  direct 
line  from  both  of  his  honored  maternal  ancestors, — Captain  John 
Higley's  two  wives, — his  great-grandfather,  Seth  Higley,  having 
contracted  a  marriage  of  near  kin. 

His  childhood  was  spent  upon  the  farm  in  the  midst  of  the 
simplicity  of  an  agricultural  life.  Like  the  youth  of  those  days, 
his  early  education  was  gained  at  the  common  district  school, 
which  he  attended  faithfully,  winter  and  summer,  until  ten  years 
of  age,  after  which  he  attended  only  during  the  winter  months, 
his  labor  being  required  on  the  farm  in  the  summer.  The 
molding  of  his  earlier  years  fell  largely  upon  his  mother,  who 
was  a  gifted  and  superior  woman.  Her  maternal  heart  was 
wrapped  up  in  this  son,  and  it  is  to  her  energy,  perseverance, 
and  wise  direction  that  he  says  he  owes  his  successful  efforts  in 
after  life  more  than  to  anything  else. 

He  was  noted  for  his  perseverance,  industry,  and  frugality 
during  his  youth.  In  the  country  school  he  early  rose  to  the 
first  class  in  scholarship,  and,  by  having  free  access  to  the  dis- 
trict library,  he  supplemented  the  education  of  the  schoolroom 
by  that  education  which  comes  from  the  eager  reading  of  a  great 
variety  of  excellent  books,  in  history,  biography,  travels,  science, 
and  art.  It  embraced  such  works  as  Headley's  "Napoleon  and 
his  Marshals,"  "Washington  and  his  Generals,"  Dr.  Dix's  works, 
Dr.  Lardner's  works  on  science  and  art,  Freemont's  exploring  ex- 
peditions to  the  Pacific  coast,  "Life  of  Benjamin  Franklin,"  etc. 

Through  good  home  training,  the  education  of  the  school  and 
the  library,  and  the  industrious  habits  of  farm  life,  he  developed 
into  an  energetic,  long-headed  boy  of  great  application — a  fair 
type  of  an  American  country  youth,  who  afterward  rose  to  an 
influential  and  successful  manhood  through  his  own  individual 
energy  and  unfailing  perseverance. 

He  was  early  ambitious  to  earn  his  own  living  and  to  accumu- 
late from  his  earnings.  At  the  age  of  sixteen  he  purchased  five 
acres  of  land  near  the  city  of  Auburn,  upon  which,  with  the  aid 
of  his  parents,  he  built  a  comfortable  cottage,  which  home  they 
thereafter  enjoyed  until  their  decease. 


The  fond  dream  of  his  early  youth  was  to  obtain  an  education 
sufficient  to  enable  him  to  teach  a  country  school,  and  thus 
insure  an  income  from  the  winter  as  well  as  from  the  summer 
months.  He  easily  surpassed  his  fellows  in  the  country  school, 
and,  at  the  age  of  seventeen,  entered  the  Auburn  Academy,  where 
he  received  the  advantages  of  advanced  instruction.  He  became 
a  member  of  one  of  the  first  teachers'  classes  in  the  State,  organ- 
ized under  the  auspices  of  the  Regents  of  the  University. 

This  was  about  the  year  1850-51.  The  following  winter  he 
taught  his  first  district  school  at  Aurelius,  three  miles  west  of 
Auburn,  and  "boarded  round,"  according  to  the  custom  of  those 
days.  This  school  consisted  of  forty-five  pupils,  ranging  from  six 
to  twenty-five  years  of  age.  His  salary  was  sixteen  dollars  per 
month.  The  branches  taught  ranged  from  the  A  B  C's  to  higher 
algebra.  Before  the  end  of  his  term,  the  trustees  engaged  him 
for  the  following  year  at  largely  increased  wages. 

His  broadened  experience  and  observation,  as  a  student  at  the 
Auburn  Academy  and  teacher  in  the  country  school,  fired  him 
with  an  ambition  to  obtain  a  collegiate  education.  He  took  up 
the  study  of  Latin  and  Greek,  and  pursued  it  with  great  zeal, 
inspired  by  the  bright  hopes  which  the  attainment  of  his  purposes 
seemed  to  hold  out;  and  in  the  summer  of  1858  he  entered  the 
freshman  class  of  Hamilton  College  at  Clinton,  N.  Y.,  with  forty 
dollars  surplus  funds  to  start  on. 

By  virtue  of  a  trusting  faith,  of  determined  energy,  industry, 
and  careful  economy,  he  worked  his  way  through  college  without 
the  aid  of  others.  To  secure  the  necessary  means  he  worked  for 
wages  in  vacations,  and  taught  portions  of  the  time.  In  his 
freshman  year,  as  he  was  far  in  advance  of  his  class  in  all  the 
English  branches,  he  accepted  the  position  of  head  teacher  in  the 
Auburn  Academy,  where  he  had  just  finished  his  preparation  for 
college.  During  the  greater  part  of  this  year,  he  also  taught  the 
prisoners  in  the  Auburn  State  Prison  for  five  days  in  the  week, 
between  the  hours  of  6  to  8  o'clock,  p.  M.,  having  received 
the  appointment  for  this  position  from  the  Governor  of  the  State, 
and  received  for  such  service  $12.50  per  month.  The  following 
year  he  joined  his  class  in  college  with  sufficient  means  to  meet 
all  necessary  expenses.  In  the  fall  of  1861,  while  a  senior  in 
college,  he  was  appointed  by  the  Governor  of  the  State  to  fill  the 
vacancy  of  school  commissioner  for  the  second  district  of  Cayuga 
County.  He  was  able  to  discharge  the  duties  of  this  office  by 


devoting  all  of  his  vacations  and  a  part  of  the  winter  term  to  them, 
and  at  the  same  time  to  keep  up  his  studies  with  his  college  class; 
he  was  graduated  with  honor  in  the  summer  of  1862. 

After  graduation  he  continued  in  the  office  of  school  commis- 
sioner, discharging  his  duties  with  great  efficiency  and  acceptance 
to  the  public,  until  the  following  year,  when  he  was  elected  to 
what  he  deemed  the  more  important  position  of  principal  of 
Cayuga  Lake  Academy,  located  at  Aurora,  N.  Y.,  one  of  the 
oldest  academies  in  the  State. 

Under  his  energetic  direction  the  school  rapidly  increased  in 
patronage,  and  rose  to  high  rank  among  the  educational  insti- 
tutions of  New  York. 

After  three  years  of  flattering  success,  he  yielded  to  the  solicita- 
tions of  the  Board  of  Education  of  Auburn,  N.  Y.,  to  remove  to 
his  native  town  and  take  charge  of  the  reorganization  of  the 
public  schools  of  that  city,  and  the  establishment  of  a  high  school 
in  place  of  the  old  academy,  and  to  this  end  he  was  elected 
secretary  of  the  Board  of  Education  and  Superintendent  of  the 
Publ:c  Schools  in  the  summer  of  1866.  This  position  he  filled 
with  eminent  satisfaction  to  all  concerned.  The  high  school 
flourished  beyond  the  expectations  of  its  most  zealous  supporters, 
and  the  public  schools  generally,  under  his  personal  direction, 
rose  to  a  high  degree  of  excellence. 

His  friends  at  Aurora  were  determined  to  secure  his  return,  if 
possible,  and  under  various  strong  inducements,  financial  as  well 
as  in  the  direction  of  promised  means  for  the  building  and  endow- 
ment of  a  college  of  high  rank,  he  returned,  after  two  years' 
work  at  Auburn,  and  again  took  charge  of  the  old  academy,  with 
the  understanding  that  a  new  building  would  soon  be  erected  by 
one  of  the  wealthiest  citizens  of  that  place,  and  duly  equipped  to 
take  its  place  among  the  leading  colleges  of  the  State. 

He  was  ambitious  to  be  at  the  head  of  such  an  institution,  and 
to  be  instrumental  in  its  development.  It  was  for  this  purpose 
and  with  this  understanding  that  he  returned  to  Aurora. 

But  difficulties  arose  to  prevent  the  founding  and  building  up 
of  the  proposed  institution.  Financial  conditions  were  changed, 
and  after  waiting  for  two  years  and  continuing  at  the  head  of  the 
academy,  he  felt  justified  in  accepting  an  offer  of  the  principal- 
ship  of  the  West  High  School  at  Cleveland,  O.,  and  in  the 
summer  of  1870  he  removed  to  Cleveland.  His  success  there 
was  so  marked,  and  he  became  so  well  known  to  the  distin- 


guished  educators  of  Ohio,  that  the  Board  of  Education  of  the 
city  of  Dayton,  O.,  invited  him  to  the  superintendency  of  their 
schools.  The  offer  of  a  largely  increased  salary,  and  the  attrac- 
tions of  the  work  to  be  done  in  this  new  field,  induced  him  to 
accept  the  position  offered,  which  he  did  in  the  summer  of  1871. 

For  some  time,  his  logical  qualities  of  mind,  and  a  fair  acquaint- 
ance with  law  already  acquired  during  intervals  of  his  regular 
duties,  had  been  bending  him  toward  the  legal  profession,  and  in 
1873  he  resigned  from  school  work  and  became  a  resident  of  Cin- 
cinnati, O.,  where  he  was  admitted  the  following  year,  1874,  to 
the  practice  of  the  law  by  the  Supreme  Court  of  the  State. 
Thorough  and  painstaking  in  all  that  he  did,  he  was  not  long  in 
gaining  a  professional  foothold  and  winning  a  name  in  legal 

In  1881  he  was  chosen-  Judge  of  the  City  Court  of  Cincinnati, 
a  Court  of  Record  having  original  jurisdiction  of  all  crimes  and 
misdemeanors  within  the  city,  with  the  right  of  trial  by  jury. 
His  career  on  the  bench,  until  the  expiration  of  his  term,  was 
characterized  by  sound  judgment  and  common  sense. 

His  decisions  upon  several  questions  of  general  public  interest 
were  copied  widely  by  the  press  of  the  country.  His  adminis- 
tration was  noted  for  its  efficiency  in  the  punishment  of  crime 
and  the  sustaining  of  law  and  order.  He  probably  achieved  his 
greatest  fame  in  his  decisions  under  the  law  forbidding  the 
opening  of  saloons  and  theaters  on  Sunday.  Public  feeling  pro 
and  con  became  very  intense.  The  law  was  openly  defied  by  the 
saloon  keepers.  Six  hundred  arrests  were  made  by  the  police. 
The  most  prominent  and  influental  among  them  were  tried  before 
Judge  Higley  and  a  jury,  and  convicted  after  a  long  and  exciting 
trial.  The  full  penalty  of  the  law  was  promptly  inflicted,  and 
the  most  orderly  Sabbath  followed  that  had  ever  been  known 
in  Cincinnati;  the  greatest  excitement  prevailed,  and  riots  were 
threatened  in  some  portions  of  the  city,  but  law  and  order 

Judge  Higley  served  on  the  bench  the  two  years  for  which 
he  was  elected,  and  positively  declined  to  be  a  candidate  for 

He  closed  his  term  with  the  good  wishes  and  high  respect  of 
the  members  of  the  bar.  It  was  a  just  recognition  of  his  faithful 
services  that  prompted  a  number  of  prominent  citizens  to  mark 
the  occasion  by  entertaining  him  at  a  elaborate  dinner,  at  the 


close  of  which  he  was  presented  with  a  beautiful  silver  tankard, 
suitably  inscribed. 

The  following  is  taken  from  a  leading  morning  paper  : 

"Judge  Warren  Higley,  whose  term  on  the  bench  of  the  City 
Criminal  Court  will  end  on  the  25th  inst,  gave  a  delightful 
semi-official  entertainment  at  his  home  on  Mount  Auburn  last 
evening.  The  only  ladies  present  were  Mrs.  Higley  and  ladies 
who  assisted  her  in  receiving  the  judge's  guests.  Among  those 
present  were  :  William  Means,  Mayor  of  Cincinnati,  Judge  M.  L. 
Buchwalter,  Judge  M.  F.  Wilson,  Judge  Fitzgerald,  Judge  John 
P.  Murphy,  Hon.  John  A.  Caldwell,  Hon.  Howard  Douglass, 
Assistant  Postmaster  Muller,  Colonel  Luther  Parker,  Mr. 
Benjamin  Harrison,  and  a  number  of  press  representatives, 
including  the  gentlemen  whose  duties  call  them  frequently  to 
Judge  Higley's  court.  With  such  a  company  and  so  admirable 
a  host  and  hostess,  the  evening  was  a  delightful  one.  The 
intellectual  commission  was  helped  out  by  beautiful  accidentals  : 
the  tasteful  decoration  of  the  rooms  ;  the  punch  that  was  a 
study,  a  delight  and  a  delusion;  the  cards  and  the  supper  that 
included  the  substantials,  as  well  as  the  delicacies  of  the  season. 
Judge  Higley  leaves  a  fine  record  as  the  magistrate  of  the  court 
whose  duties  from  their  nearness  to  the  daily  welfare  of  the 
people  are  most  difficult  and  important,  but  even  more  has  he 
endeared  himself,  during  his  two  years  of  public  life,  to  all  who 
have  come  in  contact  with  him,  as  a  man  and  gentleman." 

In  the  month  of  January,  1882,  the  American  Forestry  Con- 
gress had  its  birth  in  Judge  Higley's  law  office. 

A  few  gentlemen,  including  Judge  Higley,  who  had  had  the 
pleasure  of  getting  up  a  public  reception  for  Baron  Richard  Von 
Steuben,  Royal  Chief  Forester  of  the  German  Empire,  and  his 
associates,  soon  after  the  centennial  celebration  of  the  battle  of 
Yorktown,  in  November,  1881,  met  in  Judge  Higley's  office  in  the 
early  part  of  the  January  following,  and  discussed  the  subject  of 
forestry.  "Before  they  separated  they  resolved  to  bring  the 
subject  to  the  earnest  consideration  of  the  people.  A  committee 
was  organized,  and  for  the  next  three  months  the  press  of  the 
country  laid  before  the  people  the  subject  of  forestry  in  its  vari- 
ous important  aspects." 

This  movement  culminated  in  a  three  days'  meeting  at  Music 


Hall,  Cincinnati,  held  April  25,  26,  and  27,  1882,  at  which  most 
of  the  distinguished  foresters  of  the  United  States  and  Canada 
were  present  and  read  papers  before  the  scientific  departments. 
The  Governor  of  the  State  made  the  address  of  welcome.  The 
2yth  of  the  month  was  appointed  by  the  chief  executive  of  the 
State  as  Arbor  Day,  the  first  Arbor  Day  celebration  in  Ohio,  and 
the  first  except  two  in  the  United  States.  The  city  was  in  holi- 
day attire.  A  great  procession  of  soldiery  and  citizens,  and  pupils 
of  the  public  schools,  marched  to  Eden  Park,  where  various 
groves  were  planted,  with  appropriate  ceremonies. 

Thus  closed  the  first  session  of  the  American  Forestry  Con- 
gress, which  embraces  in  its  scope  the  United  States  and  Canada. 
This  organization  has  done  more  than  all  other  instrumentalities 
for  the  promotion  of  forestry  in  America. 

In  1884  Judge  Higley  was  elected  President  of  the  American 
Forestry  Congress,  and  was  re-elected  the  following  year.  His 
opening  address  before  the  congress  assembled  in  Boston  in 
September,  1885,  was  clear  and  convincing,  and  commanded  the 
thoughtful  attention  of  the  citizens  of  New  England  especially. 
He  is  still  an  active  officer  in  this  organization. 

One  year  after  the  first  meeting  of  the  American  Congress, 
January,  1883,  the  Ohio  State  Forestry  Association  was  organized, 
of  which  Judge  Higley  was  an  active  mover,  and  of  which  he  was 
elected  its  first  president. 

The  summer  of  1884  Judge  Higley  removed  to  New  York  City, 
where  he  has  since  transacted  a  profitable  law  business,  maintain- 
ing his  previous  reputation  as  a  lawyer.  Here  he  early  began 
taking  an  active  interest  in  matters  appertaining  to  both  social 
and  public  affairs. 

Of  the  Ohio  Society  of  New  York,  organized  January,  1886,  he 
was  one  of  the  leading  founders,  and  an  indefatigable  worker  in  its 
early  history.  He  served  as  its  secretary  for  some  years,  and  has 
always  been  active  in  the  interests  of  the  society. 

He  was  one  of  the  principle  organizers  of  the  New  York  State 
Forestry  Association,  of  which  he  was  made  first  vice  president, 
and  has  occupied  a  well  achieved  place  in  the  front  ranks  of  its 
membership,  working  with  zealous  and  praiseworthy  effort  to 
arouse  public  attention  to  the  imperative  importance  of  preserv- 
ing our  State  forests.  He  spoke  upon  invitation,  in  different 
parts  of  the  State,  without  moneyed  compensation,  making  timely 
addresses  upon  the  urgent  necessity  of  preventing  the  destruction 


of  the  Adirondack  forests;  urging  that  laws  should  be  enacted 
giving  the  State  power  to  purchase  and  hold  absolute  control 
over  millions  of  additional  acres  of  forest,  deemed  necessary  to 
the  Adirondack  Preserve,  and  that  all  waste  places  should  be 
devoted  to  forest  growth. 

It  is  due  in  great  measure  to  the  influence  of  such  earnest  men 
as  Judge  Warren  Higley  and  his  coadjutors,  men  capable  of 
dealing  with  the  great  questions  of  the  day,  that  the  State  of 
New  York  stands  far  in  advance  of  any  other  State  in  the  Union 
in  her  forestry  legislation,  and  the  management  of  her  State 

Judge  Higley  became  one  of  the  incorporators  and  a  trustee  of 
the  Adirondack  League  Club,  founded  in  1890,  for  the  purpose  of 
a  game  and  forest  preserve.  The  club  now  (1895)  owns  115,000 
acres  of  forest  lands  lying  in  Hamilton  and  Herkimer  Counties, 
N.  Y.,  upon  which  are  three  fine  club-houses.  Forest  Lodge  on 
Honnedago  Lake,  Bisby  Club-house  on  Bisby  Lake,  and  Mountain 
Lodge  Club-house,  on  Little  Moose  Lake,  several  cottages,  and 
numerous  camps  adorn  this  wilderness  tract,  the  most  beautiful 
and  attractive  of  which  is  Judge  Higley's  "Cedar  Lodge,"  lately 
erected  on  Little  Moose  Lake. 

The  club  owns  the  finest  stretch  of  native  forest  in  the  Adiron- 
dacks,  and  is  trying  to  apply,  for  the  first  time  in  this  country, 
advanced  principles  of  forestry  management,  whereby  forest 
preservation  and  forest  utilization  will  not  be  inconsistent  the 
one  with  the  other.  Judge  Higley,  as  vice  president  of  the  club, 
takes  an  active  interest  in  its  management. 

In  politics  he  is  a  Republican.  Apart,  however,  from  some 
active  service  as  an  officer  in  the  Business  Men's  Republican 
Organization  during  the  campaigns  for  Republican  success  in 
1888-90,  he  has  not  devoted  much  attention  to  the  general  politics 
of  New  York.  About  that  time,  the  New  York  Financial  Gazette 
had  the  following  most  complimentary  words  for  Judge  Higley  : 

"  The  Business  Men's  Republican  Organization  of  the  Twelfth 
Assembly  District  held  a  large  meeting  recently  for  the  purpose 
of  transacting  important  business.  Several  speeches  were  made 
by  members,  notably  that  of  Ex-Judge  Warren  Higley,  which  was 
declared  by  all  who  had  the  pleasure  of  listening  to  it  to  be  the 
best  of  the  evening.  He  expounded  the  plan  of  the  business 
men's  organizations,  showing  the  wisdom  and  the  foresight  em- 


braced  in  the  scheme  of  work  concentrated  under  it.  He  recom- 
mended meeting-places  where  young  men  could  assemble  and  dis- 
cuss the  questions  of  the  day,  and  acquire  information,  which 
would  certainly  prove  of  advantage  to  them.  Judge  Higley's 
speech  was  full  of  good  advice  and  encouraging  facts.  He 
has  always  done  much  to  advance  the  interests  of  his  party 
in  this  city,  and  during  the  last  presidental  campaign  worked 
hard  and  earnestly  for  the  success  of  the  national  ticket.  As 
a  lawyer  he  stands  high  in  his  profession,  and  his  career  at 
the  bar  has  been  a  most  successful  one;  he  is  considered  one  of 
the  ablest  and  best  read  of  our  local  practitioners." 

The  Patria  Club,  of  which  Judge  Higley  is  the  presiding  officer, 
held  its  initial  meeting  at  Sherry's,  April  23,  1891. 

Shortly  before  that  date,  at  a  dinner  of  the  New  York  coun- 
cilors of  the  American  Institute  of  Civics,  over  which  Judge 
Higley  presided,  it  was  proposed  to  effect  an  organization  includ- 
ing the  members  resident  in  New  York  City  and  vicinity,  the 
object  of  which  should  be  to  promote  the  patriotic  aims  of  the 
Institute,  and  be  known  as  the  "Patria  Club,"  the  membership  to 
be  open  to  ladies  as  well  as  gentlemen.  Its  first  meeting  was 
addressed  by  the  Right  Rev.  A.  C.  Coxe,  bishop  of  the  Western 
Diocese  of  New  York,  who  made  an  able  address  upon  "Standards 
of  Citizenship  and  Government." 

This  club,  over  which  Judge  Higley  has  presided  for  two  years, 
now  (1895)  numbers  about  two  hundred  ladies  and  gentlemen  in  its 
membership,  and  is  accomplishing  a  quiet  but  effective  work  in 
"the  maintenance  of  high  ideals  in  affairs  of  government,  by 
influence  and  channels  largely  educational  in  character."  It 
ranks  among  the  foremost  literary  social  clubs  of  the  metropolis. 
Among  its  active  members  are  Daniel  Greenleaf  Thompson,  Ex- 
United  States  Treasurer  Ellis  H.  Roberts,  Hon.  and  Mrs.  William 
H.  Arnoux,  Hon.  Warner  Miller,  Editor  La  Salle  A.  Maynard,  Mr. 
and  Mrs.  William  Ives  Washburn,  Mrs.  J.  C.  Croly  (Jennie  June), 
Colonel  and  Mrs.  Abraham  G.  Mills,  Mrs.  Mary  Lowe  Dickinson, 
Hon.  and  Mrs.  William  Brookfield,  Ex-Judge  Noah  Davis,  Rev. 
Dr.  and  Mrs.  John  R.  McArthur,  Professor  and  Mrs.  S.  S.  Packard, 
Hon.  Stewart  L.  Woodford. 

Judge  Higley  is  a  charter  member  of  the  Alpha  Delta  Phi  Club 
of  the  City  of  New  York,  a  member  of  the -American  Geographical 
Society,  the  President  of  the  Hamilton  College  Alumni  Associa- 



tion  of  the  City  of  New  York,  and  a  member  of  the  Republican 
Club.  He  is  a  32°  Mason,  and  a  prominent  officer  in  the  Scottish 
Rite  bodies.  He  is  also  a  member  of  the  Sons  of  the  American 

He  delivered  the  historic  addresses  at  the  reunions  of  the 
Higley  family  at  Windsor,  O.,  in  1887,  at  Windham,  O.,  in  1889, 
and  at  Simsbury,  Conn.,  in  the  summer  of  1890.  From  the  first 
inception  of  this  genealogical  work  he  has  taken  an  active  interest 
in  its  progress,  rendering  valuable  contributions  of  time  and 
service,  for  which  he  will  be  honorably  remembered.  As  has 
been  already  stated,  he  finally  assumed  the  entire  financial  respon- 
sibility of  its  publication. 

From  the  time  that  his  college  course  was  closed  and  his  mind 
and  character  matured,  his  exceptional  gifted  powers  for  public 
speaking  have  brought  him  into  request  to  deliver  addresses  at 
conventions,  public  meetings,  and  before  Associations  having 
different  objects.  Tall  and  well-formed,  standing  full  six  feet, 
with  a  mind  well  stored  with  a  general  knowledge  of  men  and 
things,  a  scholarly  manner,  and  a  strong  and  most  agreeable  voice, 
speaking  with  directness,  and  with  perfect  ease  in  the  art  of  ex- 
pression, his  audiences  rarely  fail  to  become  enthusiastic  in  their 

His  temperament,  which  is  confident  and  hopeful,  fits  him  to 
rank  with  men  described  in  the  following  words  of  Henry  Ward 
Beecher:  "  Men  who  carry  good  nature  in  society  are  as  much 
perceived  as  spicewood  is,  that  carries  sweet  odors."  It  follows 
then  that  his  social  life  is  a  busy  one,  that  his  quality  and  fine 
humor,  with  his  catholic  spirit,  make  him  many  friends,  and  a 
welcome  guest. 

Like  all  other  popular  men  who  serve  the  public  in  responsible 
places,  he  has  sometimes  been  placed  in  circumstances  of  unusual 
difficulty,  and  "escaped  not  calumnious  strokes."  Who  is  the 
public  man  that  has  not  had  maligners  ?  The  course  which  he 
took,  and  which  is  a  marked  characteristic,  of  maintaining  perfect 
silence,  speaking  ill  of  no  one,  has  always  won  for  him  the  highest 
respect,  leaving  his  detractors  contending  in  vain. 

In  religious  faith  he  is  a  Presbyterian,  and  a  member  of  the 
West  Presbyterian  Church,  New  York  City. 

He  has  been  three  times  married;  first,  to  Frances  W.  Tyler, 
daughter  of  B.  B.  Tyler,  Esq.,  a  prosperous  farmer,  near  Auburn, 
N.  Y.,  January  i,  1863,  by  whom  he  had  two  children  :  Edward 


North,  born  May,  1864,  died  in  infancy;  Arthur  W.,  born 
November  23,  1866,  educated  in  the  public  schools  of  Auburn,  and 
now  engaged  in  business  in  Wisconsin.  At  Cincinnati,  O.,  June 
30,  1873,  he  married  his  second  wife,  Emma  W.  Clark,  a  lady  of 
rare  culture  and  learning.  She  became  a  devoted  student  of  art, 
and  an  art  critic  of  high  rank.  She  twice  visited  Europe  in 
the  interest  of  her  chosen  studies,  and  made  an  extensive  collec- 
tion of  art  works.  Soon  after  settling  in  New  York  she  became 
a  member  of  Sorosis,  where  her  brilliancy  and  learning  and  apti- 
tude in  debate  gave  her  special  prominence.  She  died  in  the  City 
of  New  York,  from  a  surgical  operation,  April  19,  1890,  leaving  no 

On  the  zist  day  of  July,  1891,  he  united  in  marriage  with 
Christina  J.  Haley  of  New  York  City,  a  most  estimable  lady.  She 
had  been  a  prominent  member  of  Sorosis  for  many  years,  and 
filled  several  of  its  important  offices.  She  was  the  publisher  and 
business  manager  of  the  Woman's  Cycle.  She  is  a  life  member 
of  the  Woman's  Press  Club,  an  active  member  of  the  Woman's 
Health  Protective  Association  of  New  York  City,  a  member  of 
the  Patria  Club,  of  which  her  husband  is  president,  and  the  first 
woman  to  join  the  Adirondack  League  Club,  of  which  her  hus- 
band is  the  vice  president.  Mrs.  Higley  is  a  woman  of  rare  execu- 
tive ability,  an  excellent  and  devoted  wife,  and  her  home  is  the 
center  of  her  greatest  activity.  Her  kind  and  generous  nature, 
helpful  spirit,  and  keen  sense  of  duty  command  the  esteem  and 
admiration  of  those  who  know  her. 

ELIZA  ZADAH,  fourth  child  of  Chester  and  Prudence  Miller  Higley,  was  born  in 
Auburn,  N.  Y.,  March  15,  1836.  She  received  a  good  education,  and  married 
William  H.  Nickason,  then  a  neighboring  farmer,  March  8,  1854.  They  soon  after 
settled  in  Auburn,  where  he  has  since  been  engaged  in  the  carpenter  and  building 
business.  A  goodly  measure  of  prosperity  and  happiness  has  been  theirs.  They 
have  two  children  living  (one  died  in  infancy),  viz. : 

Fred  Nickason,  was  born  June  27,  1861,  and  lived  with  his  parents  until  his 
marriage  with  Carrie  Ashton,  April  30,  1890  ;  one  child,  Winifred  A.,  was  born  to 
them  June  14,  1891.  Mary  Nickason,  was  born  May  23,  1876,  and  is  still  in  school. 

MARIA  RACHAEL,  the  youngest  child  of  Chester  and  Prudence  Higley,  was  born 
in  the  town  of  Owasco,  Cayuga  County,  N.  Y.,  August  13,  1845.  She  was  educated 
at  the  Auburn  Academy,  where  she  made  special  preparations  for  teaching.  She 
first  taught  a  country  district  school,  and  afterward  for  several  years  with  marked 
success  taught  in  the  public  schools  of  Auburn.  On  the  igth  day  of  April,  1870, 
she  married  Alexander  Walker,  of  the  town  of  Owasco.  They  settled  on  a  farm 
in  the  town  of  Fleming,  five  miles  from  Auburn,  and  prospered  as  thrifty  farmers. 



After  a  few  years  they  sold  out,  and  purchased  a  large  farm  in  the  town  of  Scipio, 
about  seven  miles  from  Auburn,  and  near  the  shores  of  Owasco  Lake,  beautiful  in 
situation,  and  among  the  finest  farms  in  Cayuga  County.  They  have  a  family  of 
seven  children — a  family  remarkable  for  harmony,  industry,  thrift,  helpfulness  one 
toward  another,  intelligence,  and  strong  characters. 

Hugh,  born  February  15,  1871  ;  married  January  3,  i8g4,  Nina  Denniston,  and 
settled  on  a  farm  in  Steuben  County,  N.  Y.;  Warren  Higley,  born  March  31, 
1873  ;  Maud  C.,  born  December  25,  1874  ;  Alexander,  Jr.,  born  November  15, 
1878  ;  Harry,  November  15,  1881  ;  Fred.  £.,  August  15,  1878,  and  Floyd,  the 
youngest,  November  21,  1887. 

This  completes  the  family  of  Chester  and  Prudence  Higley,  with  a  word  concern- 
ing this  devoted  mother.  She  was  a  woman  of  rare  excellence  and  worth.  She 
inspired  her  children  with  the  virtues  that  lead  to  success  through  industry,  integ- 
rity, prudence,  and  laudable  ambition.  Ever  watchful,  in  her  motherly  tenderness, 
wise  in  her  counsels,  helpful  in  her  example,  making  home  cheerful  and  happy  and 
pure, — a  noble  type  of  a  beautiful,  devoted,  and  loving  wife  and  mother. 

Continued  from  page  200. 

RACHAEL  HIGLEY,  seventh  child  of  Warren  and  Lucy  Sawyer 
Higley,  was  born  July  21,  1813.  She  married  Royal  Philkins  of 
Wayne  County,  N.  Y.  Shortly  after  their  marriage  they  moved 
to  Illinois  where  she  died  quite  young.  They  had  three  children  : 

Margaret,  F.lmira,  and  Nathaniel.  Nathaniel  went  out  in  the  late  war  as  captain 
of  Company  C,  loth  Ohio  Cavalry,  and  afterward  rose  to  the  rank  of  major. 

HARRIET  R.  HIGLEY,  the  youngest  child  of  Warren  and  Lucy 
Sawyer  Higley,  was  born  in  Onondago  County,  N.  Y.,  October 
5,  1815.  In  1835  sne  went  with  her  brother,  J.  Sawyer,  to  Craw- 
ford County,  Pa.,  and  thence  to  Williams  County,  O.,  where  she 
married  H.  Barbour,  a  farmer.  They  had  five  children.  She 
now  lives,  a  widow,  in  Millcreek,  Williams  County,  O.  Her  hus- 
band died  in  1890. 

Continued  from  chapter  xxxiii.  page  188. 

ROXANNA  HIGLEY,  the  fifth  child  of  Seth  and  Mindwell  Higley 
was  born  at  Simsbury,  Conn.  She  married  Abel  Holcombe.  They 
removed  to  Volusia,  Chatauqua  County,  N.  Y.,  where  she  died  at 
an  advanced  age.  They  brought  up  a  family. 

No  material  has  been  furnished  from  which  to  write  a  sketch 
of  the  Holcombes  or  their  descendants. 


Continued  from  page  188. 

Amelia,  Seth,  ist,  Brewster,  zd,  Brewster,  ist,  Captain  John  Higley. 

The  spindle  and  the  loom  of  her  grandmother  gather  and  consecrate  the  dust  of  the  garret,  while 
the  woman  of  to-day  watches  the  spindle  and  the  loom  of  the  factory. — PHILPOTT. 

AMELIA  HIGLEY  BATES,  the  sixth  child  of  Seth,  ist,  and  Mind- 
well  Higley,  was  born  at  the  old  homestead  of  her  father  and  of 
her  grandfather,  Brewster  Higley,  ad,  March  10,  1779.  When 
about  the  age  of  nineteen  (1798),  she  married  Lieutenant  Erastus 
Bates,  whose  birth  took  place  October  22,  1764.  They  lived  in 
East  Granby,  Conn.  Lieutenant  Bates  was  the  son  of  Captain 
Lemuel  Bates,*  a  Revolutionary  officer  who  purchased  his  farm 
in  East  Granby  in  1774.  Erastus,  too,  was  a  military  man, 
receiving  his  commission  in  the  Connecticut  militia,  October  12, 
1799,  joining  the  i8th  Regiment,  Company  4. 

The  home  farm  upon  which  Lieutenant  Erastus  Bates  and  his 
young  wife  settled,  containing  forty-seven  acres,  was  purchased 
by  Captain  Lemuel  Bates  adjoining  his  own  estate.  On  the  death 
of  Captain  Bates  this  share  of  the  estate  came  into  the  full  owner- 
ship of  his  son,  Erastus,  to  which,  in  the  year  1794,  he  added 
fourteen  acres  by  purchase.  The  tract  in  later  years  had  further 
additions,  and  now  contains  eighty-six  acres.  These  lands,  which 
have  been  owned  and  occupied  by  the  Bateses  for  120  years,  lie 
in  the  town  of  East  Granby,  directly  on  the  old  highway  from 
Boston  to  New  York.  When  Lieutenant  Erastus  Bates  died  in 
1826,  his  widow,  Amelia  Higley,  retained  possession  of  the  farm 
till  her  death.  The  present  dwelling  (now  belonging  to  her 

*  Lemuel  Bales  was  a  captain  during  the  Revolution,  and  participated  in  several  battles.  For 
many  years  Captain  Bates  kept  a  tavern  in  the  north  part  of  East  Granby.  The  merry  old  gentle- 
man was  fond  of  fighting  his  battles  over  again  by  relating  his  reminiscences  of  those  stirring 
times.  After  the  surrender  of  Burgoyne  several  detachments  of  the  British  prisoners  of  war  were 
marched  through  East  Granby,  and  a  portion  of  them  bivouacked  on  the  premises  of  Captain 
Bates.  "  The  British  had  plenty  of  money,"  said  Captain  Bates,  "  to  pay  for  the  best  we  had, 
and  my  folks  were  kept  busy  in  distributing  pitchers  and  pails  of  cider  among  them.  At  night  all 
the  floors  of  my  tavern  were  spread  over  with  them."  At  one  time  several  teams  laden  with  specie, 
en  route  from  Boston  to  Philadelphia,  halted  for  the  night  at  Captain  Bates'.  The  specie  had 
been  borrowed  from  France.  It  was  inclosed  in  strong  plank  boxes,  drawn  by  thirteen  teams,  well 
guarded,  and  amounted  to  several  millions  of  dollars. — "  Newgate  oj 'Connecticut"  p.  112. 


grandson,  Albert  C.  Bates)  stands  on  the  site  of  the  house  in 
which  she  lived  her  married  life,  and  where  her  death  took  place; 
the  rear  part  of  the  building  now  in  use  being  a  part  of  her  old 
homestead.  She  was  a  woman  of  unusual  force  of  character, 
capable,  and  possessing  readiness  to  accomplish  with  her  own 
hands  an  ample  amount  of  domestic  duties.  Martha-like  care  and 
labor  filled  her  daily  life  as  it  did  the  lives  of  the  women  of  her 
time.  The  scope  of  her  industry  included  dyeing,  spinning,  and 
weaving.  There  are  still  to  be  found  in  the  old  homestead  woven 
relics  bearing  evidence  not  only  of  her  patient  skill  and  refined 
taste,  but  exhibiting,  as  well,  a  rare  artistic  knowledge  of  dyeing 
attractive  shades  and  designing  patterns. 

She  survived  her  husband  thirteen  years,  and  died  in  the  year 
1839,  aged  sixty.  •  Lieutenant  Erastus  and  Amelia  Higley  Bates 
had  ten  children,  viz. : 

Anson,  Daniel,  Albert,  Flora,  Carlos,  Milton,  Laura,  Alfred,  Mind- 
well.  An  infant  daughter  was  born  and  died,  October  19,  1802. 

ANSON  BATES,  the  eldest  child,  born  May  4,  1799,  practiced  law  and  was  also  a 
farmer  in  East  Granby.  He  married  and  had  a  family.  He  died  aged  eighty. 

DANIEL,  the  second  child,  was  born  August  23,  1800.  He  died  unmarried, 
October  12,  1821. 

ALBERT,  the  fourth  child,  born  January  15,  1804,  married  Lucretia  Bates,  his 
cousin.  He  removed  with  his  family  to  Medina,  Medina  County,  O.  He  died 
February  6,  1885. 

FLORA,  the  fifth  child,  born  May  i,  1806,  married  Metcalf.  They 

resided  for  some  time  in  Granby,  but  later  on  she  removed  with  her  two  sons  to 
Caledonia,  Minn.,  in  the  early  history  of  that  State.  She  died  in  1877. 

CARLOS  BATES,  the  sixth  child  of  Lieutenant  Erastus  Bates  and 
Amelia  Higley,  was  born  at  the  old  family  homestead  in  East 
Granby,  March  23,  1808.  This  spot  was  his  home  during  the 
entire  period  of  his  life — seventy-one  years. 

He  attended  the  district  school,  afterward  taking  an  academic 
course  at  the  Westfield  Academy.  He  pursued  his  studies  still 
further  under  a  private  tutor,  Cicero  Holcombe.  At  the  age  of 
nineteen  he  began  teaching  a  district  school,  teaching  and  study- 
ing alternately  for  several  years. 

About  the  year  1834  he  began  mercantile  pursuits,  opening  a 
country  store  in  Poquonoc,  Conn.  He  afterward  went  to 
Natchez,  Miss.,  engaging  in  the  same  business.  Here  he  became 
the  owner  of  two  slaves — a  man  and  a  woman.  For  a  period  of 
twenty  years,  from  the  year  1837,  he  traveled  throughout  the 


Southern  States,  engaged  in  collecting  for  the  clock  manufactur- 
ing firm  of  Erastus  Case  &  Co.,  of  Canton,  Conn.,  generally 
returning  to  his  Northern  home  at  East  Granby  each  season. 
In  the  year  1845  Mr.  Bates  was  elected  and  served  in  the  Con- 
necticut State  Legislature  as  representative  for  the  town  of 
Granby.  His  last  journey  in  the  South  was  made  in  1860,  just 
previous  to  the  Civil  War. 

As  one  of  the  heirs  of  his  mother's  estate,  he  became  the 
purchaser,  at  her  death,  of  the  shares  in  the  home  farm  which 
were  inherited  by  his  brothers  and  sisters.  This  gave  him  full 
right  and  title  to  the  farm  and  homestead.  In  the  year  1860  he 
married  Maria  Stimpson,  who  died,  after  a  brief  illness,  of  conges- 
tion of  the  lungs,  leaving  an  infant,  which  survived  the  mother  but 
a  few  months. 

On  the  1 2th  of  December,  1861,  Mr.  Bates  married  Mrs. 
Hannah  S.  Stowell,  a  widow  *  with  two  children,  the  daughter  of 
Captain  Enoch  and  Sophia  T.  C.  Powers.  Mrs.  Stowell  was  born 
February  27,  1820.  By  the  year  1861  Mr.  Bates  had  acquired  a 
handsome  competency.  When  the  turbulent  days  of  the  Civil 
War  came,  he  was  outspoken  and  thoroughly  loyal  in  its  most 
shadowy  times.  Retaining  unshaken  faith  in  the  financial 
credit  and  ultimate  national  supremacy  of  our  government,  he 
invested  liberally  in  government  bonds.  This  action  finally 
resulted  in  his  realizing  a  handsome  increase  of  fortune.  After 
this  period  he  occupied  his  time  in  settling  estates  and  filling 
engagements  of  trust,  and  attending  to  his  personal  affairs.  He 
was  a  man  to  whom  his  fellow-citizens  and  neighbors  of  all  the  sur- 
rounding towns  appealed  and  consulted  on  every  important  ques- 
tion, especially  those  concerning  public  measures.  In  the  year 
1874  he  again  entered  actively  into  politics,  and  received  the  Re- 
publican nomination  in  the  third  district  for  Member  of  Congress. 
But  he  suffered  defeat,  the  district  proving  strongly  Democratic. 

Mr.  Bates  bore  a  strong  and  well-rounded  character,  with  a 
well-stored  mind.  He  was  capable  of  delivering  an  eloquent  and 
happy  speech  on  public  occasions,  when  it  came  in  his  way. 
Books  were  a  source  of  pleasure  to  him.  He  was  a  man  who  read 
widely  and  thoughtfully,  and  was  acquainted  with  literature. 
A  friend  who  knew  him  well,  says  that  "  he  was  thoroughly 
acquainted  with  a  dozen  good  poets,  and  delighted  in  Shaks- 
pere."  He  acquired  a  fair  knowledge  of  both  Latin  and  French. 

*  Mrs.  Stowell  was  the  widow  of  Austin  C.  Stowell,  whose  death  took  place  in  the  year  1853. 



He  died  December  20,  1878.  The  Hartford  Courant  contained 
a  few  days  afterward  the  following  editorial  : 

"Mr.  Carlos  Bates,  a  native  and  much  respected  citizen  of 
East  Granby,  died  at  his  residence  Friday  morning,  the  2oth,  at 
the  age  of  seventy-one.  Mr.  Bates  sat  in  his  chair  conversing 
with  his  family  and  friends  the  preceding  evening,  cheerful  and 
apparently  quite  strong.  He  had  been  confined  to  his  house 
with  indisposition  for  a  few  days,  but  had  given  evidence  of 
an  improved  condition.  His  whole  life  has  been  one  of  useful- 
ness and  activity.  Many  will  mourn  the  loss  of  his  wise  counsel 
and  advice." 

Mr.  Bates  was  interred  in  the  grounds  of  Elmwood  Cemetery,  on 
the  23d,  a  large  concourse  of  people  attending  the  funeral.  The 
spot  is  marked  by  a  beautiful  shaft  of  Scotch  granite.  The 
children  of  Carlos  and  Hannah  S.  Bates  were: 

An  infant  son,  born  August  7,  1863;  died  August  10,  1863. 
Albert  Carlos,  born  March  12,  1865. 

ALBERT  CARLOS  BATES,  the  younger  of  the  two  sons,  and  the  only  surviving 
child  of  his  parents,  was  born  in  the  ancient  homestead  in  East  Granby,  on  the  1 2th 
of  March,  1865. 

As  has  been  already  shown,  his  father  was  a  man  possessing  a  strong  mind,  and 
rose  to  considerable  distinction  in  the  political,  social,  and  moneyed  world,  by  his 
energy  of  character  and  fine  mental  abilities.  Young  Bates  had  only  entered  his 
thirteenth  year  when  death  deprived  him  of  paternal  care.  Upon  his  mother, 
a  woman  of  unusual  brightness  and  quick  intelligence,  devolved  the  guardianship 
of  his  youth.  His  education,  till  he  reached  his  fourteenth  year,  was  received  at  the 
district  school  ;  he  was  afterward  sent  to  the  Athol  High  School,  at  Athol,  Mass., 
where  his  progress  in  his  studies  gave  highest  satisfaction  to  his  professors.  He 
then  entered  the  Connecticut  Literary  Institute  at  Suffield,  Conn.  Here  his 
advance  was  so  rapid  that  he  completed  the  full  four  years'  scientific  course  in  three 
years,  passing  successful  and  highly  creditable  examinations,  and  receiving  his 
diploma,  June  24,  1885.  Astronomy  and  chemistry  were  studies  especially  agree- 
able to  his  natural  tastes.  For  these  sciences  he  showed  such  aptitude  that  he  was 
called  to  the  capacity  of  assistant  teacher  in  the  chemical  department,  a  position 
which  he  filled  with  great  acceptance  for  several  school  terms. 

His  father,  at  his  decease,  left  a  large  estate,  consisting  of  farms,  bank  stocks,  etc., 
including  the  old  Bates  farm  and  homestead  in  East  Granby.  On  reaching  his 
twenty-first  birthday  Albert  C.  Bates  became  the  absolute  owner  of  this  property. 
He  bears  the  reputation  of  possessing  excellent  business  ability  ;  he  appreciates 
the  value  of  money,  and  his  "  cast  of  thought,"  life,  and  habits  having  always 
been  praiseworthy  and  manly,  he  has  managed  his  property  in  accordance  with 
the  conditions  of  prosperity.  His  natural  tastes,  however,  run  into  subjects  of  a 
literary  and  scientific  character  ;  to  these  pursuits  he  is  ardently  devoted.  He  is  a 


natural-born  antiquarian,  nothing  pleasing  him  better  than  to  be  engaged  in 
diligent  investigation  and  patient  inquiry,  no  matter  the  labor  and  painstaking  it 
requires.  In  his  home  he  possesses  a  very  creditable  cabinet  collection  of  curios 
and  relics,  some  of  them  of  much  worth,  as  well  as  a  valuable  telescope  of  high 
power,  indicating  his  pleasure  and  familiarity  with  the  study  of  the  heavenly  bodies. 

Mr.  Bates'  thorough  habit  of  investigation  and  historical  research  won  his  way 
to  prominence  in  the  Connecticut  Historical  Society,  of  which  he  had  the  honor  to 
be  elected  a  member,  July  2,  1889,  the  youngest  man  in  the  society.  On  January 
I,  1893,  he  was  elected  its  librarian,  a  very  responsible  position,  though  an  employ- 
ment thoroughly  congenial  to  his  tastes.  The  office  requires  great  minuteness  of  de- 
tail, thorough  method,  and  systematic  arrangement ;  all  of  these  qualifications  arise 
from  an  original  element  or  fitness  of  mind  with  which  few  are  gifted.  These  abili- 
ties Mr.  Bates  at  once  applied  to  the  best  interest  of  the  valuable  library  of  twenty- 
five  thousand  volumes  and  several  thousand  pamphlets,  with  the  gratifying  result, 
that  after  months  of  patient  labor,  valuable  records  and  "  long  forgotten  treasures," 
which  had  long  been  concealed,  were  brought  to  light  and  chronologically  arranged 
and  classified. 

Mr.  Bates  was  one  of  the  earliest  contributors  of  time  and  labor  to  this  Family 
History.  From  the  first  of  the  undertaking  he  faithfully  rendered  invaluable  aid 
to  the  writer  in  the  pursuit  of  necessary  historical  material,  furthering  its  interests 
in  every  possible  way,  and  spending  much  time  in  research,  copying  records,  etc., 
which  entitles  him  to  a  large  share  of  profound  gratitude  from  its  readers. 

He  is  a  man  utterly  devoid  of  egotism,  reticent  and  sensitive,  of  amiable  temper- 
ament, and  possessing  a  cheerily  constituted  nature. 

In  the  year  1891  he  was  elected  the  treasurer  and  town  clerk  of  the  town  of 
East  Granby. 

MILTON  BATES,  the  seventh  child  born  to  Lieutenant  Erastus  and  Amelia  Hig- 
ley  Bates,  was  born  November  15,  1810  ;  died  September  25,  1831,  unmarried. 

LAURA  BATES,  the  eighth  child,  born  March  17,  1813,  married,  first,  Harvey 

Trumbull.  Her  second  husband  was Van  Dorn.  They  resided  in  Ohio. 

She  died  in  Hartford,  Conn.,  1884,  leaving  three  daughters. 

ALFRED  BATES,  the  ninth  child,  born  March  13,  1815,  was  twice  married.  His 
second  wife  was  Elizabeth,  daughter  of  General  George  Owen  of  East  Granby, 
Conn.  They  reside  in  Enfield,  Conn. 

MINDWELL  BATES,  the  tenth  and  youngest  child  of  Lieutenant  Erastus  and 
Amelia  Higley  Bates,  was  born  June  9,  1819.  She  married,  first,  Henry  Johnson 
of  Suffield,  and,  second,  Benjamin  E.  Smith  of  Hawley,  Mass.  They  lived  in  East 
Granby.  She  died  in  the  year  1887.  She  was  the  mother  of  two  children,  a  son 
who  died  in  infancy,  and  a  daughter,  Harriet,  who  died  aged  twenty-three. 


Continued  from  page  188. 

POLLY  HIGLEY,  and  a  twin  sister,  children  of  Seth  and  Mindwell 
Higley,  were  born  in  the  old  homestead  at  Simsbury,  Conn,  (no 
date  obtained).  The  twin  died  at  two  years  of  age.  Polly  mar- 
ried, first,  Herman  Pinney.  She  married,  second, Palmer. 

No  account  of  the  family  has  been  given. 

RHODA  HIGLEY,  the  eighth  child  of  Seth  and  Mindwell  Higley, 
was  born  at  Simsbury  about  the  year  1783.  She  married,  first, 
October  29,  1800,  Pliny  Humphrey,  son  of  Theopolis  Humphrey. 
Her  second  marriage  was  to  Aaron  Moses  Seymour.  She  died 
in  Simsbury,  September  15,  1867. 

SALLY  HIGLEY,  the  ninth  child,  was  born  at  Simsbury,  Conn., 
November  20,  1785.  She  married,  October  15,  1805,  George 
Barnard,  a  man  who  bore  a  reputation  for  exceptional  worth  and 
character  as  long  as  he  lived.  They  settled  on  a  farm  in  a  part 
of  Simsbury  which  is  now  the  town  of  Bloomfield.  Here  they 
always  resided.  Mr.  Barnard  was  a  blacksmith  by  trade,  which 
he  carried  on  as  well  as  farming.  They  were  well-to-do  in  the 
world,  and  highly  respected.  They  were  both  members  of  the 
Baptist  Church.  Mr.  Barnard  died  of  pneumonia,  April  19,  1862. 
His  wife,  who  was  a  bright  and  active  woman,  always  enjoying 
strong  health  till  late  in  life,  died  of  disease  of  the  heart,  Novem- 
ber 20,  1870. 

They  were  interred  in  the  cemetery  of  the  parish  of  St.  An- 
drews. They  were  the  parents  of  twelve  children,  viz.: 

George  A.,  Caroline,  George  again,  Harriet,  Chloe,  Carlos,  Caro- 
line again,  Amelia,  Elizabeth,  James,  Mary,  Henry. 

Of  this  family,  George  A.,  Caroline,  and  Carlos  died  in  infancy; 
Chloe  and  James  both  died  when  about  sixteen  years  of  age;  two 
others,  one  of  whom  was  Elizabeth,  died  at  thirty,  unmarried. 


Continued  from  page  188. 
Oliver,  Seth,  ist,  Brewster,  2d,  Brewster,  ist,  Captain  John  Higley. 

OLIVER  HIGLEY,  the  tenth  child  of  Seth  and  Mindwell  Higley, 
was  born  in  the  old  homestead  at  Simsbury,  Conn.,  October  21, 
1790.  He  married  Clarissa  Phelps  of  Simsbury,  April  26,  1812. 

226          .         THE  HIGLEYS  AND    THEIR  ANCESTRY. 

It  Is  difficult  to  follow  the  course  of  their  lives,  the  data  fur- 
nished being  very  incomplete  and  meager.  Most  of  their  lives 
after  their  marriage  were  spent  in  the  complicated  circumstances, 
isolation,  and  struggle  attendant  upon  new  settlements  in  unset- 
tled States.  They  appear  to  have  emigrated  about  1830  to  Central 
New  York,  and  made  a  home  in  the  vicinity  of  Cicero,  Onondaga 
County.  After  residing  here  a  number  of  years  they  removed  to 
Independence,  la.,  while  that  State  was  yet  a  new  country.  Later 
in  life  Oliver  Higley  removed  with  married  children  to  Decatur, 
Neb.,  where  he  spent  the  last  years  of  his  life. 

He  was  always  marked  as  a  hardworking  man,  of  thoroughly 
honest  principles,  and  did  his  everyday  work  after  the  quieter 
fashion  in  agricultural  pursuits  ;  but  his  round  of  life  contained 
its  measure  of  worth,  for  he  was  much  respected  in  whatever 
community  he  lived.  He  lacked  financial  ability,  and  was  inno- 
cent of  the  love  of  money-making,  and  therefore  did  not  accumu- 
late lands  or  property.  To  do  his  best,  toiling  in  good  heart,  to 
supply  his  large  family  with  actual  necessities,  was  his  daily  battle 
with  the  world  ;  the  development  and  education  of  his  chil- 
dren was  left  much  to  the  spirit  of  their  own  inclinations,  and 
the  enlightenment  which  the  few  advantages  and  influences  sur- 
rounding them  could  give. 

Of  his  wife,  Clarissa  Phelps,  who  was  of  the  highly  respectable 
Phelps  family  of  Simsbury,  Conn.,  little  has  been  preserved.  She 
was  born  at  Simsbury,  August  14,  1790.  There  is  no  question 
but  that  her  children  inherited  from  her  much  which  inspired 
them  to  honest  motives  and  the  better  type  of  living.  She 
died  March  30,  1860.  Oliver  Higley  died  in  Decatur,  Neb., 
in  1883. 

Their  children  were : 

Oliver  Nelson,  Harrison,  Almon,  Rosetta,  Augustus,  Hiram, 
Edwin,  Louisa,  Thomas,  Elizabeth  A.,  and  Chauncey,  who  was 
killed  by  falling  from  a  sled  loaded  with  logs.  The  two  eldest 
children  are  given  as  having  died,  no  data  being  furnished  for 
these  pages. 

ALMON  HIGLEY,  the  third  child  of  Oliver  and  Clarissa  Phelps  Higley,  was  born 
November  18,  1816.  He  married  February  15,  1844,  in  Seneca  Falls,  N.  Y., 
Mary  E.  Neafie,  who  was  born  in  New  Jersey,  October  22,  18— o.  They  settled 
in  Seneca  Falls  the  year  of  their  marriage,  afterward  sojourning  for  a  time  at 
Independence,  la.,  and  later  (previous  to  1861)  removing  to  Decatur,  Bur! 
County,  Neb.,  where  they  now  reside.  They  had  children,  viz.  : 


MORRIS  GOETCHINS,  born  in  Seneca  Falls,  N.  Y.,  November  n,  1844,  who 
married  November  14,  1877,  in  Decatur,  Neb.,  Jennie  Griffin.  She  was  born 
in  Chicago,  111.,  in  1861.  They  reside  in  Decatur.  They  have  two  children  : 
Homer  Clarence,  born  February  27,  1878  ;  and  Lizzie  Goetchins,  born  Novem- 
ber 17,  1880. 

ELIZABETH  SHAW,  the  second  child  of  Almon  and  Mary  Neafie  Higley, 
was  born  in  Independence,  la.,  April  26,  1848.  She  married  June  7,  1867,  in 
Arizona,  Burt  County,  Neb.,  John  Creagan.  He  was  born  Octobor  19,  1843. 
John  Creagan  served  throughout  the  entire  Civil  War.  Elizabeth  Higley  Creagan 
died  November  13,  1876.  Their  children  : 

Frank  Alman,  born  in  Arizona,  Neb.,  April  9,  1869  ;  Lida  Evangeline,  born  on 
the  Omaha  Indian  Reservation,  Nebraska,  October  9,  1871. 

ROSETTA  the  eldest  daughter  of  Oliver  and  Clarissa  Phelps  Higley,  is  recorded 
as  having  died;  no  dates. 

AUGUSTUS,  fifth  child  of  Oliver  and  Clarissa  Phelps  Higley,  was  born  in  Onon- 
dago  County,  N.  Y.,  October  24,  1819.  He  married  Mary  Shaver,  September  4, 
1845.  She  was  born  January  23,  1825.  Their  children:  Delavan,  born  April  12, 
1846  ;  Seward,  born  March  23,  1851. 

DELAVAN  HIGLEY  married,  and  has  two  children,  viz.:    Grace,  born  Decem- 
ber 2,  1876  ;  and  Josephine,  born  March,  1883. 
SEWARD  married ,  December  2,  1876. 

HIRAM,  sixth  child  of  Oliver  and  Clarissa  Phelps  Higley,  was  born  in  Cicero, 
N.  Y.,  1824.  He  married  in  1845  Caroline  M.  White. 

Mr.  Higley  removed  with  his  family  from  Cicero,  N.  Y.,  to  Waukesha,  Wis.,  in 
the  year  1838,  where  he  resided  till  1861,  when  he  removed  to  Decatur,  Neb., 
where  they  now  reside.  They  had  six  children,  viz.  : 

I.ouis  Dalton  Higley,  born  1846  ;  married  in  1861,  Julia  A.  Pounds.  They  reside 
in  Decatur,  Neb.,  and  have  children  :  Mary>  Josephine,  born  1869  ;  Elsina  Blanch, 
born  1871  ;  and  James  Myrl,  born  1875.  Clara  L,,  born  1848;  married,  1866, 
E.  P.  Porter.  They  reside  in  Wayne,  Neb.  Josephine  E.,  born  1852  ;  died  1859. 
Cora  M.,  born  1860  ;  married  F.  M.  Nolin,  1877.  They  reside  at  Omaha,  Neb. 
Jennie  J.,  born  1863,  resides  at  Decatur,  Neb.  Hiram  A,,  born  1865. 


Continued  from  page  226. 
Edwin,  Oliver,  Seth,  ist,  Brewster,  2d,  Brewster,  ist,  Captain  John  Higley. 

EDWIN  HIGLEY,  the  seventh  child  of  Oliver  and  Clarissa  Phelps 
Higley,  was  born  at  Cicero,  N.  Y.,  December  24,  1825. 

His  childhood's  earliest  days  were  spent  in  his  paternal  home. 
While  yet  a  young  lad  he  went  to  live  with  his  aunt,  Mrs.  Amelia 
Higley  Bates,  at  East  Granby,  Hartford  County,  Conn.,  and  being 
quite  separated  from  his  brothers  and  sisters,  the  family  becoming 
widely  scattered,  he  knew  little  of  them  afterward. 

He  resided  for  some  time  in  Bridgeport,  Conn.  Early  in  the 
year  1846  he  took  up  the  westward  march,  removing  to  Waukesha, 


Wis.  Here,  at  the  age  of  twenty-one,  he  married  Louisa  G.  White, 
July  7,  1846.  She  was  born  March  27,  1829. 

He  joined  the  28th  Wisconsin  Regiment,  V.  I.,  in  the  late 
Civil  War,  and  served  with  zeal  and  courage  in  the  din  and  can- 
nonade of  battle  for  three  years,  receiving  an  honorable  discharge 
at  its  close. 

On  the  4th  of  May,  1866,  he,  with  his  family,  left  the  town  of 
Waukesha  by  wagon  and  emigrated  to  Decatur,  Neb.,  where,  after 
a  long  and  wearisome  journey,  they  arrived  on  the  7th  of  July. 

His  wife,  Louisa  White  Higley,  died  December  6,  1878.  On 
July  i,  1882,  he  married  Mrs.  Susan  H.  Thompson  (formerly 
Susan  Roe).  She  was  born  March  13,  1836.  They  reside  in 
Decatur,  Neb. 

His  children,  who  were  all  by  his  first  wife,  are:  Herman  Ward, 
Frank  £.,  and  Addie  F. 

HERMAN  WARD  HIGLEY,  the  eldest  of  the  three  children  of  Edwin  and  Louisa 
White  Higley,  was  born  at  Waukesha,  Wis.,  November  12,  1849.  He  attended 
school  in  his  native  town  eight  years,  and  in  the  year  1 866  went  with  his  parents 
to  Decatur,  Neb. 

Mr.  Higley  has  had  a  varied  career,  his  whole  life  having  been  spent  on  the 
frontier  of  our  country.  Actuated  by  the  spirit  of  adventure,  he  went  in  the  early 
spring  of  1877  to  the  Black  Hills,  then  among  the  wilds  of  the  great  far  West.  It 
was  in  these  new  and  unsettled  regions  that  his  life  was  shaped  into  an  ideal  man 
of  the  mines  and  mountains,  and  his  character  became  stamped  with  traits  of  the 
very  best  type — frankness,  geniality,  perseverance,  and  large-heartedness. 

As  a  matter  of  course  such  a  life  has  given  him  great  intuitional  powers,  courage, 
and  physical  vigor.  Prospecting  for  ores  on  the  great  Pacific  slope  has  been  the 
main  feature  of  his  occupation.  In  this  he  has  met  with  flattering  success  ;  as  a 
man  of  business  he  is  well  balanced  and  has  accumulated  wealth. 

He  once  remarked  to  the  writer  :  "  My  experience  has  been  far  from  one  of  com- 
fort and  ease — it  has  been  a  life  among  strangers,  one  of  excitement,  hardships  and 
privations,  ups  and  downs,  but,  God  be  thanked,  it  has  not  been  all  downs.  I  have 
always  had  plenty  and  to  spare." 

On  the  1 2th  of  November,  1882,  he  married  Mary  D.  Scott,  who  was  born  in  Gerry, 
Chatauqua  County,  N.  Y.,  in  the  year  1864.  Her  father,  a  gold  seeker,  who,  like 
thousands,  flocked  to  the  far  West  in  1849,  became  a  miner  of  Pike's  Peak  that 
year,  and  afterward  going  onward  to  California,  and  there  sifting  the  gold  sands 
when  as  yet  there  was  no  home  civilization  in  that  fertile  State.  In  the  year  1879, 
in  search  of  new  soil  and  scenes,  the  Scott  family  became  pioneers  into  the  Black 
Hills  when  Mary  was  but  twelve  years  of  age.  They  resided  for  some  years  in 
Lead  City,  a  mining  camp  in  South  Dakota.  Here  she  met  Mr.  Higley,  her  future 
husband,  whom  she  married  at  seventeen.  She  was  a  person  of  amiable  qualities, 
had  received  a  fair  education,  and  possessing  a  talent  for  music,  gained  considerable 
merit  by  her  close  application  to  its  study.  She  has  always  been  remembered  by 
the  old  residents  of  Leadville  as  one  of  the  most  cheerful  and  clever  young  ladies 



in  "  the  Hills,"  during  its  earliest  history.  Though  of  slender  build  and  refined 
features,  she  had  a  brave  and  courageous  heart ;  in  times  of  emergencies  and  frontier 
perils  she  did  not  hesitate  to  take  her  Winchester  rifle  and  follow  her  husband 
where  strong  men  failed.  Many  were  the  marked  and  thrilling  incidents  of  their 

In  September,  1881,  Mr.  Higley  went  to  the  Judith  Mountains,  Northern 
Montana.  After  their  marriage  his  young  wife  accompanied  him  to  this  region. 
Residing  here  about  four  years  they  went,  in  1886,  to  Washington,  then  a  Territory, 
spending  their  winters  on  Vashon  Island,  Puget  Sound,  and  their  summers  in  min- 
ing camps  in  the  mountains.  Finally,  attracted  by  the  mineral  discoveries  in 
Okanogan  County  (Washington),  they  settled  at  Conconully.  Mr.  Higley  here 
provided  a  comfortable  and  pleasant  home,  and  life  to  them  appeared  to  be  replete 
with  happiness.  But,  alas,  for  human  plans  and  anticipations  !  The  untimely 
death  of  the  attractive  young  wife  cut  short  a  career  whose  future  was  full  of  ye1 
brighter  promise. 

An  issue  of  the  Okanogan  Outlook  published  a  few  days  after  the  sad  event  con- 
tained the  following  obituary  notice  : 

"  One  of  the  most  sorrowful  visitations  of  the  angel  of  death  that  ever  occurred  in 
this  community  took  place  when  Mrs.  Mary  Scott  Higley  departed  for  a  fairer  and 
brighter  land.  She  was  seized  about  ten  days  ago  with  an  attack  of  peritonitis,  and 
although  attended  by  the  best  medical  skill  the  county  affords,  she  sank  so  rapidly 
that  soon  all  hopes  of  her  recovery  were  abandoned.  She  quietly  passed  away  at 
three  o'clock,  Tuesday  morning,  December  16,  1890.  It  is  seldom  that  human 
eyes  have  looked  upon  a  more  strangely  pathetic  scene  than  that  witnessed  at  the 
deathbed  of  the  deceased.  Gathered  about  were  the  stricken  husband  and  sorrowing 
friends,  powerless  to  save  her  valuable  life  ;  for  two  hours  before  her  death,  and 
while  perfectly  unconscious,  Mrs.  Higley  sang  almost  constantly,  and  her  voice 
was  not  less  clear  and  strong  than  when  she  was  in  perfect  health. 

"  The  funeral  was  largely  attended.  The  services  were  conducted  by  Rev.  H. 
M.  Marsh  of  Ruby,  in  accordance  with  the  rituals  of  the  Episcopalian  Church,  of 
which  deceased  was  a  member  and  the  faithful  organist. 

"  She  left  a  bereaved  husband  and  three  little  children,  one  a  babe  of  twenty-one 
months,  and  a  boy  and  girl  aged  six  and  seven  respectively.  She  was  of  a  cheerful 
and  animated  disposition,  an  amiable  and  affectionate  wife.  Beloved  and  honored 
for  her  mother-love  and  wife's  devotion,  respected  and  esteemed  as  a  friend  and 
neighbor,  her  loss  has  broken  up  one  of  the  happiest  families  in  Okanogan  County, 
and  cast  a  gloom  over  the  entire  community." 

Few  men  realize  what  the  situation  involves  to  be  left  with  three  young  children, 
one  an  infant  in  arms,  in  a  rough  mining  town  so  isolated  from  the  great  world. 
Mr.  Higley  proved  himself  equal  to  the  trying  circumstances.  For  many  months 
following  the  decease  of  his  wife,  with  his  own  strong  arms  he  rocked  the  cradle, 
and  without  assistance  tenderly  cared  for  his  group  of  little  ones,  as  well  as  to  all 
their  needs  except  the  laundry  work ;  this  was  done  by  an  Indian  squaw  from  a 
neighboring  Indian  Reservation  ;  however,  this  convenience  and  aid  at  last  failed 
him,  because  of  the  village  camp  inhabitants  having  taken  from  the  jail  an  Indian 
accused  of  some  foul  deed,  and,  applying  lynch  law,  hanged  him  to  a  convenient 
tree  ;  the  frightened  squaw  never  appeared  at  Mr.  Higley's  door  again. 


Three  years  later  Mr.  Higley  married  the  second  time.  His  wife,  Jessie  Arzella 
Henderson,  to  whom  he  was  married  in  Chicago,  November  18,  1893,  bore  deserved 
reputation  as  an  artist,  and  possesses  well  cultivated  musical  ability. 

To  avail  his  children  of  school  advantages  and  society,  Mr.  Higley  purchased  a 
home  in  Seattle,  where  he  resides  (1895)  with  his  family,  still  holding  his  interests 
in  the  mountains  of  Okanogan  County,  where  they  spend  their  summers. 

Children  of  Herman  W.  and  Mary  Scott  Higley  :  Pearl,  born  August  5,  1883  ; 
Ray  C.,  born  November  2O,  1884  ;  Carl  W.,  born  July,  1886,  died  October,  1886; 
Earl  W.,  born  March  25,  1889. 

FRANK  E.  HIGLEY,  the  second  child  of  Edwin  and  Louisa  White  Higley,  was 
born  in  Waukesha,  Wis.,  July  9,  1854.  He  married  January  21,  1877,  Belle 
Darling  of  Indiana.  They  reside  in  Decatur,  Burt  County,  Neb. 

Their  children:  Fred  A.,  born  October  23,  1877;  Percy  B.,  born  August  29, 
1879,  died  March,  1881  ;  Ward  C.,  born  July  20,  1881  ;  Orville  D.,  born  March  28, 
1883  ;  Florence  C.,  born  April  n,  1885. 

ADDIE  F.  HIGLEY,  the  third  child  of  Edwin  and  Louisa  White  Higley,  was  born 
December  27,  1867,  in  Decatur,  Neb.  She  married  September  28,  1886,  Nahum 
T.  Dinsmore  of  Castle,  Mont.,  where  they  reside.  They  have  one  child,  Naomi 
Louisa,  born  July  4,  1887. 

Cant  fn  tied  from  page  226. 

LOUISA  HIGLEY,  eighth  child  of  Oliver  and  Clarissa  Phelps  Higley,  was  born 
at  Cicero,  N.  Y.,  September  30,  1827.  She  married  J.  W.  Briggs,  December  31, 
1844.  They  had  ten  children,  as  follows  : 

Ether,  born  October  24,  1845,  died  November  5,  1865  ;    Thales,  born  March  31, 

1847,  married  Emily  Bronson  January  I,  1871  ;  Horlense  A . ,  born  November  27, 

1848,  died  October  18, 1865  ;  Plutarch  H '.,  born  December  29,  1850,  married 

February  22,    1877  ;    Elenora  C.,  born  October  9,  1852,  married  P'.    S.    Brown 
October  25,   1881  ;  Ida  L.,  born  July  24,   1856  ;  Beatrice  C.,  born  May  9,  1859, 
married  Charles  Turk  March  18,   1884  ;   Cora  E.,  born  April  25,  1861,  married 
Colonel  F.  Wood  November  14,  1883  ;  Nettie  A.,  born  July  27,  1864,  died  May  20, 
1865  ;  Ada  F.,  born  August  14,  1870. 

There  are  ten  grandchildren  whose  names  are  not  given. 

THOMAS  HIGLEY,  the  ninth  child  of  Oliver  and  Clarissa  Phelps  Higley,  was 
born  May  9,  1829,  in  Madison  County,  N.  Y.  He  married  January  7,  1858, 
Sarah  Welch.  She  was  born  in  Waukesha,  Wis.,  May  17,  1841. 

He  married,  second,  Ida  Hilton  May  5,  1878.  Mrs.  Ida  Hilton  Higley  died 
October  8,  1883.  He  resides  in  Plum  Creek,  Neb. 

Children  by  first  wife  : 

W.  G.  Higley,  born  in  Vernon,  Wis.,  January  9,  1859;  resides  at  Blair,  Neb. 
Harry,  born  in  Waukesha,  Wis.,  September  12,  1861.  Vernon,  born  August  23, 
1863  ;  resides  in  Clinton,  la.  Maurice  E.,  born  October  30, 1866  ;  died  May 
23,  1872. 

Children  by  second  wife  : 

Minne,  born  June,  1872  ;  Fred,  born  1874,  died  the  same  year  ;  Allie,  born  1876, 
died  1880  ;  Thomas,  born  1879  !  Jessie,  born  1883. 

Of  the  above  family,  Harry  Higley  removed  to  Nebraska  with  his  parents 
in  1862.  He  married,  October  23,  1881,  Mary  E.  Cane  of  O'Neill  City,  Neb.,  who 


was  born  in  Pendleton,  England,  April  I,  1864.  They  reside  at  Blair,  Neb., 
where  Mr.  Higley  is  doing  a  thriving  business,  dealer  in  fruits,  nuts,  tobacco, 
etc.,  etc.  They  have  two  children,  viz.: 

Eva  £.,   born  March  22,  1883  ;   Clarence  ff.,  born  January  I,  1885. 

ELIZABETH,  the  tenth  and  youngest  child  of  Oliver  and  Clarissa  Phelps  Higley, 
married  Frank  Blodgett.  No  record  of  the  family  can  be  given,  its  place  of  resi- 
dence not  being  known. 


Continued  from  page  162. 
Huldah.  Brewster,  2d,  Brewster,  ist,  Captain  John  Higley. 

HULDAH,  the  sixth  child  of  Brewster  Higley,  2d,  and  Esther, 
his  wife,  was  born  at  Simsbury,  February  i,  1750. 

On  July  8,  1777,  she  became  the  first  wife  of  Abel  Case,  son  of 
Amos  and  Mary  Holcombe  Case  of  West  Simsbury  (now  Canton), 

Here  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Case  resided  through  her  life,  in  the  old 
paternal  homestead  on  "East  Hill,"  which  came  into  the  hands 
of  Abel  Case  from  his  father,  Amos  Case,  Sr.  They  were  the 
parents  of  five  children  : 

Huldah,  the  eldest,  born  1778,  married  Jabez  Hamblin  ; 
Abel,  Jr.,  born  1783,  married  Rachel  Humphery  ;  Dinah,  born 
1786,  married  Ira  Case  ;  Tirzah,  born  1787,  married  Sadoc  Case  ; 
and  Carmi,  born  1793,  who  died  unmarried  at  twenty-two. 

The  descendants  of  Huldah  Higley  Case  residing  in  Canton 
were  numerous.  She  lived  to  the  age  of  sixty,  and  died 
August  12,  1810. 

Her  husband  married  a  second  time.  He  died  April  29,  1834, 
aged  eighty-six. 


Continued  from  page  i6a. 
Enoch,  Brewster,  zd,  Brewster,  ist,  Captain  John  Higley. 

ENOCH  HIGLEY,  the  youngest  son  and  last  child  of  Brewster 
Higley,  2d,  and  Esther  Holcombe,  was  born  August  25,  1754. 
He  grew  to  manhood  in  Simsbury. 

Rosannah  Moore,  to  whom  he  was  married  October  28,  1783, 
was  the  daughter  of  Job  Moore,  of  the  now  venerable  and  historic 
Church  of  St.  Andrews,  the  oldest  Episcopalian  parish  formed  in 
the  State  of  Connecticut. 


On  his  marriage  Enoch  sold  his  farm  in  Simsbury,  and  the 
young  couple  settled  in  North  Granby. 

Enoch  Higley  made  profession  of  his  Christian  faith  on  the  8th 
of  October,  1787,  with  the  Church  at  North  Granby.  Rosannah 
probably  retained  her  connection  with  the  Episcopal  Church,  in 
which  faith  she  was  baptized,  until  the  27th  of  September,  1817, 
when  she  was  admitted  to  membership  in  the  same  church  to 
which  her  husband  belonged. 

There  is  no  record  concerning  children  having  been  born  to 
them  till  the  2d  of  September,  1798,  when  the  birth  of  the  first  of 
four  daughters  is  registered.  The  child  was  named  Harriet,  The 
second  child,  named  Lucy,  was  born  May  29,  1800  ;  the  third,  born 
June  3,  1804,  was  called  Chloe.  The  youngest,  Betsey,  was  born 
November  6,  1808. 

Harriet,  the  eldest,  married  Almon  Holcombe  ;  Lucy  married 
Samuel  Weed  ;  Betsey  united  with  the  Church  in  Granby,  Janu- 
ary 6,  1828,  and  in  1829  removed  to  Providence,  Luzerne  County, 
Pa.,  her  sister  Chloe,  who  was  yet  unmarried,  accompanying  her. 

We  have  no  genealogical  account  of  the  descendants  of  the 
children  of  Enoch  and  Rosannah  Higley.  Enoch  received  by 
bequest  a  liberal  share  of  property  from  his  father's  estate,  of 
which  he,  with  his  brother  Joel,  served  as  executors. 

In  common  with  his  older  brothers,  his  religion  was  the  fore- 
most principle  of  his  everyday  life,  and  his  energies  were  devoted 
to  the  work  and  interests  of  the  Church.  The  truths  of  the  Bible 
were  his  guiding  star.  He  left  behind  him  "  the  good  name 
which  is  to  be  chosen  rather  than  great  riches." 

Enoch  Higley  and  his  wife  were  interred  in  the  North  Granby 
cemetery.  The  inscriptions  upon  the  tombstones  which  mark 
their  last  resting  place  read  thus  : 

Enocb  f>fgleB  TRosannab 

2>teD  3ulB  12  1827.  UOlife  of  Bnocb 

73.  BieD  flfcas  10«>  1823. 

Sgefc  62. 



Continued  from  chapter  xxxi.  p.  171. 
Brewster  Higley,  4th,  Brewster,  36,  Brewster,  2d,  Brewster,  ist,  Captain  John  Higley. 

Let  the  sound  of  those  he  wrought  for, 
And  the  feet  of  those  he  fought  for, 
Echo  round  his  bones  forever  more. 


THE  birth  of  Brewster  Higley,  4th,  is  thus  entered  in  "  Book  4," 
page  156,  of  the  time-stained  record  of  Simsbury,  Conn. : 

"  Brewster  Higley,  the  son  of  Brewster  Higley,  3d,  and  Esther  his  wife,  was  bom 
in  Simsbury,  March  14th  1759." 

There  is  no  question  but  that  his  birth  occurred  in  the  home- 
stead built  by  his  grandfather,  Brewster  Higley,  2d,  which  is 
shown  in  the  illustration,  page  161. 

His  penmanship  and  orthography  indicate  that  he  acquired  a 
fair  education  for  the  times,  though  the  schools  in  his  day  had 
deteriorated,  and  common  school  education  was  then  at  a  low  ebb. 

He  contributed,  wherever  he  lived  during  an  active  life  of  more 
than  eighty-eight  years,  his  full  share  to  the  stability,  activities, 
and  excellent  citizenship  which  characterized  the  Higleys  of  his 

Like  the  three  Brewsters  Higley  who  were  his  seniors,  the 
patriotic  spirit  was  deep-rooted  in  his  nature.  There  is  little 
doubt  that  his  broad  round  shoulders  and  fine  manly  physique, 
with  a  frame  fitted  at  an  early  age  to  endure  hardship,  greatly 
aided  him  in  gratifying  his  natural  inclination  to  military  service; 
for  when  he  was  not  yet  eighteen  he  joined  the  troops  of  the 
Revolutionary  army,  serving  for  a  time  in  the  division  com- 
manded by  Major-General  Charles  Lee. 

He  fought  in  the  battle  of  White  Plains  the  syth  of  October, 
1776,  and  was  with  the  American  forces  on  their  gloomy  retreat 
which  preceded  the  battle  of  Trenton.  This  battle,  which  was 
fought  two  months  later,  was  one  that  lived  vividly  in  his  memory 
to  the  latest  day  of  his  life. 



Christmas  night,  1776,  a  memorably  bitter  cold  night,  the 
troops  struggled  across  the  river  among  the  great  drifting  blocks 
of  ice,  to  the  opposite  shore,  where  Brewster  did  guard  duty 
through  the  night. 

He  returned  from  the  war,  and  after  remaining  at  home  a  year, 
he  again  entered  service  under  Ethan  Allen,  when  that  patriot 
was  Major-General  of  the  Vermont  militia. 

He  never  forgot  the  extreme  sufferings  of  the  troops  during 
those  winters. 

Provisions  were  scantily  supplied,  "the  cold  was  intense,  the 
men  were  thinly  clad  and  their  feet  so  lacerated  from  walking 
over  the  rough  frozen  ground  with  worn-out  shoes,  or  with  bare 
feet,  that  the  clods  upon  which  they  stepped  were  sometimes 
marked  with  their  blood." 

His  children  and  grandchildren  used  often  to  listen  to  his 
recital  of  these  stirring  war  stories,  and  hear  him  relate  how 
Colonel  Allen's  feet  were  badly  frozen  during  a  march  in  Vermont. 
He  often  spoke  of  the  shocking  profanity  of  this  commander. 

Brewster  Higley,  4th,  was  twenty  years  of  age  when  he  removed 
with  his  father  and  the  family  from  Simsbury,  Conn.,  to  Vermont. 
From  that  year  (1779)  his  home  was  with  the  "Green  Moun- 
taineers," till  he  emigrated  to  Ohio  eighteen  years  later. 

Vermont  had  declared  her  independence  two  years  before,  but 
was  not  admitted  to  the  Confederation  of  States  till  March,  1791. 
He  was  thus  associated  among  the  founders  of  that  State.  During 
the  stormy  days  of  invasion  by  the  British  and  Indians  from 
Canada,  after  the  family  removed  from  Simsbury,  Conn.,  to  Ver- 
mont, he  belonged  to  the  garrison  at  Castleton  Fort. 

On  February  25,  1783,  he  returned  to  Simsbury  and  claimed 
for  his  bride  his  second  cousin,  Naomi,  daughter  of  Joseph 

The  union  proved  a  singularly  congenial  and  happy  one.  The 
young  husband  and  wife  took  up  their  residence  at  Castleton,  in  a 
house  just  west  of  that  of  the  bridegroom's  father.  Here  there 
was  born  to  them  a  family  of  six  children.  The  seventh  was 
born  in  Ohio. 

While  a  resident  at  Castleton,  Brewster,  4th,  was  engaged  in 
farming  his  land.  He  was  appointed  justice  of  the  peace,  and 
occupied  important  positions  in  public  service. 

But  the  time  came  when  his  attention  was  directed  to  the  then 
far  away  wilderness  which  had  been  organized  by  the  old  Con- 


tinental  Congress  under  the  name  of  the  Northwest  Territory,  a 
part  of  which  is  now  the  noble  and  populous  State  of  Ohio. 

At  the  Bunch  of  Grapes  Tavern  in  Boston  the  first  meeting  for 
the  organization  of  the  "  Ohio  Company  "  was  held  March  i,  1786. 
On  the  zyth  of  October,  1787,  a  contract  between  the  United  States 
Government  and  the  appointed  agents  of  the  Ohio  Company  was 
signed  for  the  purchase  of  a  great  tract  of  land  lying  on  the  north 
bank  of  the  Ohio  River,  in  which  was  included  the  present  counties 
of  Meigs,  Gallia,  and  a  part  of  Washington,  now  in  the  State  of 
Ohio  ;  and  in  April,  1788,  the  first  settlement  of  this  purchase 
was  farmed  at  Marietta,  which  was  also  the  first  settlement  in  the 
Northwest  Territory. 

The  country  was  a  dense  wilderness — forest,  bordering  the 
beautiful  river  bearing  the  name  of  the  future  State. 

From  Boston  and  elsewhere,  Brewster,  4th,  no  doubt,  heard 
news  of  the  vast  rich  tract  of  country  now  open  for  settlers,  and 
considering  the  advantages  of  making  it  his  future  home,  he 
resolved  upon  emigrating  thither. 

The  step  was  evidently  taken  without  his  father's  approbation. 
In  his  grim  grief  and  dissatisfaction,  Brewster,  3d,  enters  in  his 
private  record  book,am0ng  a  list  of  deaths,  the  following: 

"July  27th  1797.  Brewster  removes  with  his  family,  viz:  wife,  three  sons,  and 
three  daughters,  with  a  desire  to  go  to  the  Ohio  as  7  suppose." 

What  the  effort  cost  Brewster,  4th's,  affectionate  heart  may  be 
conjectured  from  a  letter  addressed  to  his  mother  a  few  years 

"  It  is  true,  my  mother,  that  I  have  been  remiss  in  writing  to  my  friends  in  New 
England.  The  reason  you  have  cause  to  complain  is  because  you  do  not  know, 
neither  can  you  realize  .what  were  my  feelings  when  I  sold  my  home  and  came  away 
with  my  family  to  live  wherever  I  might  find  a  place  to  settle. 

"  I  have  often  seated  myself  with  a  great  deal  of  pleasure  to  write  for  particular 
news,  or  of  circumstances  respecting  my  affairs,  but  soon  found  my  mind  was  led 
directly  back  to  that  one  delightful  spot  in  Vermont  where  in  former  days  I  so  much 
doted  on  spending  the  remaining  part  of  my  life.  These  reflections  baffle  my  reso- 
lutions. I  lay  aside  my  pen  saying  to  myself — '  I  cannot  write — How  can  I  ! ' 

"  I  am,  my  honored  mother  in  duty  bound,  yours  unfeigned  until  death. 

"  Farewell, 


The  journey  which  he  now  undertook  was  the  first  westward 
emigration  of  the  Higleys. 


"  On  the  2gth  of  July,  1797  [says  his  grandson,  Milo  H.  Higley  of  Rutland, 
O.],  my  grandfather  Brewster  Higley  4th,  with  his  wife  and  family  of  six  chil- 
dren, and  their  household  goods  packed  in  a  wagon  drawn  by  two  oxen,  started  on 
their  long  and  tedious  journey  to  the  Northwest  Territory. 

"  After  a  toilsome  and  wearing  travel  of  six  long  weeks  they  arrived,  the  loth  of 
the  following  September,  at  Wheeling,  Va.  Here  my  grandfather  purchased  a 
small  flatboat,  into  which  he  placed  their  household  effects,  and  gave  it  in  charge 
of  their  two  eldest  sons,  Brewster  [5th]  and  Cyrus,  assisted  by  a  stranger,  a  man 
who  desired  passage  down  the  river.  The  parents  and  younger  children  journeyed 
onward  by  wagon  and  oxen  to  a  point  nearly  opposite  the  mouth  of  the  Little 
Hocking,  where  the  town  of  Belle  Ville,  W.  Va.,  is  now  situated. 

"  Here,  after  long  delay  and  much  anxiety  on  the  part  of  the  parents  for  the  safety 
of  their  boys,  the  flatboat  arrived.  For  four  days  and  nights,  meanwhile,  either 
the  father  or  the  mother  had  sat  upon  the  river  bank  watching  for  their  coming. 
Motherlike,  Mrs.  Higley's  eyesight  penetrated  farthest  up  the  dark  deep-flowing 
stream,  and  she  was  the  first  to  discern  the  boat  between  the  broken  cliffs  em- 
bosomed in  foliage.  Her  shout  of  joy  made  the  forest  ring. 

"  The  family  spent  eighteen  months  on  the  Virginia  shore  in  a  rude  log  cabin,  with 
their  boat  moored  to  a  tree  close  by.  All  this  while  my  grandfather  was  busy 
looking  out  for  a  location  to  found  a  new  settlement.  He  was  guided  through  the 
wilds  by  the  little  compass  which  his  great-grandfather,  Capt.  John  Higley,  had 
used  in  the  Connecticut  forests  more  than  one  hundred  years  before. 

"Finally  a  surveying  party  which  was  surveying  the  Ohio  Company's  purchase 
came  into  camp,  and  from  these  he  learned  there  was  a  desirable  tract  of  land,  sec- 
tion seven,  range  thirteen,  about  twenty  miles  north  of  Gallipolis.1  One  of  the 
party  offered  to  act  as  guide  to  my  grandfather  in  finding  it. 

"  Leaving  his  family  at  the  rude  camp,  they  set  off  in  the  dense  forest  without 
even  a  path  to  guide  them.  On  reaching  the  '  promised  land '  and  carefully  look- 
ing it  over,  he  decided  the  matter  at  once,  saying,  '  This  shall  be  my  future  home,' 
and  took  possession.  He  purchased  the  whole  of  this  section  [7],  which  lay  in  what 
is  now  Rutland  Township.  In  addition  he  purchased  two  hundred  acres  of  Sec- 
tion 13,  and  eighty  acres  near  Marietta,  O.  They  left  their  camp  on  the  river 
bank  at  Belle  Ville  in  the  spring  of  1799,  and  again  took  to  the  family  boat,  in 
which  they  floated  down  the  Ohio  river  to  the  mouth  of  Leading-Creek,  which  was 
then  very  full  in  consequence  of  back  water,  the  river  being  high  from  spring 
freshets.  The  stout  arms  of  the  father  and  sons  propelled  their  boat  up  this  creek 
a  distance  of  four  miles  with  long  poles.  Here  they  safely  landed,  and  tearing 
their  boat  to  pieces  they  built  on  an  elevated  knoll  out  of  the  lumber  thus  obtained 
a  rough  shelter  for  the  family  to  occupy  until  they  could  select  a  location  and  build 
a  log  cabin.  In  this  rude  home  they  camped  the  most  of  the  summer.  In  due 
time  a  cabin  three  miles  from  this  spot  was  constructed  of  bark  and  poles  resem- 
bling in  style  an  Indian  wigwam.  The  site  on  which  this  first  rude  dwelling  stood 
was  many  years  ago  consecrated  to  the  uses  of  a  family  burial-ground. 

"When  the  family  was  finally  settled  in  their  wilderness  home,  Gallipolis,  twenty 
miles  distant,  was  the  nearest  town  ;  and  their  nearest  neighbors  were  two  families 
of  settlers  who  lived  eight  miles  away." 

1  Gallipolis  was  settled  by  the  French  in  1791.  It  is  described  about  the  time  Brewster  Higley,  4th, 
came  to  Ohio,  as  "  a  singular  village  settled  by  people  from  Paris  and  Lyons  [France],  chiefly  arti- 
zans  and  artists." 


Governor  Arthur  St.  Clair,  the  first  Governor  of  the  Territory, 
appointed  Brevvster  Higley,  4th,  justice  of  the  peace,  in  1801,  and 
in  1803  he  was  appointed,  by  Governer  Edward  Tiffen,  Associate 
Judge  of  the  Court  of  Common  Pleas  for  a  term  of  seven  years. 
This  commission  gave  him  jurisdiction  overall  the  eastern  section 
of  territory  northwest  of  the  Ohio  River,  extending  to  the  Lakes. 
In  1807  he  was  appointed  postmaster,  which  office  he  held  about 
twenty  years. 

Ohio  became  a  State  in  1803,  and  was  admitted  free  from  the 
blighting  influences  of  slavery. 

Rutland,  near  which  place  Judge  Brewster  Higley's  farm  lay, 
was  the  first  group  of  houses  in  Meigs  County,  and  received  its 
name  by  his  proposition,  from  the  lively  town  of  that  name  in  his 
Green  Mountain  State.  It  did  not,  however,  come  to  the  dis- 
tinction of  being  called  a  town  until  1815. 

It  was  not  until  1825  that  there  were  church  privileges  nearer 
than  Gallipolis.  In  that  year  the  Higleys,  the  Binghams,  and 
their  neighbors  organized  "the  First  Presbyterian  Church"  of 
Meigs  County,  and  in  1830  a  church  edifice,  which  is  still  in  use, 
was  built  a  half  a  mile  from  the  Higley  homestead. 

The  first  school  in  the  neighborhood  was  opened  in  1802  by 
Samuel  Dennd,  a  collegiate  graduate  from  Massachusetts.  He 
taught  here  four  years. 

In  his  religious  beliefs  and  practices,  Judge  Brewster  Higley 
clung  closely  to  the  religion  of  his  fathers.  He  united  with  the 
First  Presbyterian  Church  in  Gallipolis  in  1810,  and  from  this 
time  walked  an  out  and  out  Christian  professor. 

For  years  numbering  almost  a  half  century,  Judge  Brewster 
Higley  and  his  esteemed  wife  resided  on  the  farm  where  they 
first  settled  in  Ohio.  The  time  came,  as  the  country  opened  and 
the  hardships  of  the  pioneer's  life  were  lightened,  when  a  well- 
built  house  succeeded  the  first  simple  dwelling. 

There  had  been  a  long  and  varied  experience  during  these 
years.  Hard  toil  and  great  privations  had  in  no  small  measure 
attended  the  beginnings  and  development  of  a  new  and  wooded 
country,  and  many  a  time  these  labors  had  been  unpalatable  to 
thei."  natural  inclinations  and  tastes  ;  but  their  energies  never 
failed  them.  They  pressed  onward,  and  are  worthily  counted 
among  the  old  civilizers  who  were  privileged  to  lead  the  van  in 
the  founding  and  opening  of  one  of  the  most  prosperous  States 
in  our  great  Union.  It  is  well  stated  that  "  the  increase  of  popu- 


lation,  the  development  of  resources,  and  the  growth  of  the  towns 
and  cities  of  the  State  of  Ohio,  seemed  like  a  work  of  magic,"  in 
their  day. 

After  a  life  fraught  with  wide  experiences,  through  which  he 
walked  with  constant  reference  to  his  obligation  to  God,  Judge 
Brewster  Higley  reached  its  last  mile-stone  in  1847,  in  the  luxuri- 
ant month  of  roses.  During  his  latter  days  he  had  little  to  dis- 
turb the  tranquillity  of  his  mind  ;  and  to  recall  from  his  well-pre- 
served memory  his  own  early  history,  and  with  his  good  wife  to 
review  that  of  their  forefathers,  was  a  constant  pleasure.  They 
have  together  thus  left  a  legacy  of  information,  the  most  of  which 
has  been  received  through  Milo  H.  Higley,  of  Rutland,  O.,  which 
has  proved  a  most  valuable  contribution  to  this  volume. 

About  two  weeks  before  he  quitted  earth  he  was  seized  with  an 
affection  of  the  heart. 

As  the  disease  progressed  he  was  calm  and  serene,  speaking  of 
the  nearness  of  his  dissolution  with  the  greatest  composure,  and 
giving  minute  directions  concerning  his  burial. 

He  often  spoke  of  the  comforting  assurances  the  Gospel 
afforded  him,  and  dwelt  upon  "  the  Saviour's  dying  love."  He  was 
buoyant  in  his  expectation  of  ''the  crown  of  righteousness  laid 
up  for  them  that  love  Him." 

When  the  last  moment  of  his  earth-life  came,  while  gazing  with 
melting  tenderness  upon  his  son,  who  was  attending  him,  he  —  fell 
asleep.  It  was  in  the  holy  quiet  of  a  Sabbath,  —  June  20,1847. 

He  was  interred  in  the  family  burial  plot,  which,  as  has  been 
already  stated,  is  the  identical  spot  where  his  first  home  in  the 
wilderness  stood. 

The  following  is  inscribed  upon  his  tomb  : 

3Brewster  fjfgleg  Sen. 
a  sototer  of  tbe  "Revolution 
Bleo  June  20tb.  H.  D.  1847. 
88  gears,  3  montbs,  anD  6  Dags. 

Mrs.  Naomi  Higley,  his  wife,  was  a  woman  of  vigorous  constitu- 
tion and  excellent  abilities.  It  will  be  remembered  that  she  was 
the  daughter  of  Joseph  Higley  and  second  cousin  to  her  husband, 
Judge  Brewster  Higley. 

She  was  born  in  Simsbury,  Conn.,  January  i,  1761,  and  sur- 
vived her  husband.  She  united  with  the  First  Presbyterian 
Church  at  Gallipolis  in  the  early  settlement  of  the  country,  and 


lived  the  life  of  a  Christian  woman.  In  her  after  years  she  looked 
backward  to  days  well-spent,  and  forward  with  confident  hope  to 
the  joys  of  a  life  that  should  never  close.  Her  Bible  was  her  com- 
panion and  chief  study. 

She  was  a  real  existence  of  King  Solomon's  picture  of  the  model 
woman  of  olden  time,  "  who  looked  well  to  the  ways  of  her  house- 
hold, and  ate  not  the  bread  of  idleness."  In  the  "willing  work 
of  her  hands,  she  sought  wool  and  flax,  laying  her  hands  to  the 
spindle  and  hold  of  the  distaff,"  and  "all  her  household  were 
clothed."  Her  granddaughter,  now  living,  well  remembers  that 
her  grandmother  once  hatcheled,  with  a  great  iron  comb,  a 
quantity  of  flax  which  she  spun  and  wove  into  sixty  yards  of  linen. 
The  comb  is  still  retained  by  her  descendants  as  a  valuable  heir- 

Her  hospitality  knew  no  bounds  within  the  compass  of  their 
circumstances — "  the  latch-string  of  their  door  was  always  out"  to 
welcome  the  stranger,  friend,  or  neighbor.  For  years  after  they 
became  residents  of  Ohio,  the  wayfaring  traveler  depended  upon 
the  hospitality  of  the  private  homes  of  the  settlers,  there  be- 
.ing  then  no  taverns.  It  was  rarely  that  charges  were  made  to 
these  lodgers,  and  the  main  labor  of  their  entertainment  fell  upon 
the  women  of  the  household.  Naomi  Higley  was  a  woman  of  a 
kindly,  affectionate  temperament,  but  firm  in  what  she  believed 
to  be  right.  In  cases  of  illness  she  was  ever  ready  to  aid  her 
friends  and  neighbors  by  nursing  and  serving,  taking  their  afflic- 
tions and  pains  upon  her  own  heart. 

Through  the  long  period  of  her  married  life, — sixty-four  years 
and  six  months, — by  the  side  of  her  husband  she  bore  her  full 
share  of  its  unremitting  toil  and  cares.  In  the  repose  of  old  age 
she  sat  beside  him  recalling  the  times  when  their  souls  had  been 
tried  by  scenes  of  privation  and  peril,  and  enjoying  the  contempla- 
tion of  the  progress  and  prosperity  which  had  attended  (in  their 
own  times)  the  growth  and  development  of  their  beloved  country. 

As  the  weight  of  years  settled  upon  her  she  retained  to  a  fair 
degree  her  elasticity  and  vigor.  Her  memory  of  the  people  and 
scenes  of  her  childhood  remained  clear  as  long  as  she  lived. 

It  is  related  of  her  that  on  their  arrival  in  Ohio,  while  living 
with  their  young  children  in  the  rude  "shanty  "  near  Leading 
Creek,  she  daily  mounted  a  horse  and  rode  a  distance  of  three 
miles,  through  the  dense  and  tangled  forests,  to  the  site  where  the 
cabin,  which  was  to  be  their  future  home,  was  being  built  and  the 


field  cleared  for  cultivation  by  her  husband  and  older  sons,  carry- 
ing to  them  their  midday  meal.  Here  she  regularly  hitched  her 
horse  to  a  certain  young  mulberry  tree,  which  grew  near  the 
little  log  cabin. 

In  the  course  of  many  years  the  tree  spread  its  long  leafy 
branches  over  the  family  burial-ground,  the  same  spot  where 
once  had  stood  their  first  home  in  the  wilderness,  and  it  became 
a  highly  valued  relic  as  a  witness  of  their  early  days.  Sixty-six 
years  passed  by,  and  all  the  members  of  the  family  which  had 
emigrated  thither  had  one  by  one  put  life's  burdens  down  and 
lay  silently  sleeping  beneath  its  shade.  The  tree,  too,  died. 
Their  son,  Dr.  Lucius  Higley,  preserved  its  stump  in  the  form 
of  a  memorial,  imbedding  into  it  a  block  of  marble  bearing  this 
inscription  : 


The  side-saddle  she  used  in  those  days,  and  upon  which  she 
rode  horse-back  from  Castleton,  Vt.,  to  Ohio,  is  still  preserved  by 
Milo  H.  Higley.  Mrs.  Higley  was  feeble  and  tottering  during 
her  last  years,  and  though  the  scenes  and  events  of  her  younger 
life  were  fresh  in  her  mind,  she  was  forgetful  of  nearer  happen- 
ings about  her.  She  pathetically  inquired  each  day  for  her  hus- 
band, wishing  his  return,  seeming  to  forget  King  David's 
beautiful  grief-stricken  expression  :  "  But  now  he  is  dead — can  I 
bring  him  back  again  ?  I  shall  go  to  him,  but  he  shall  not  re- 
turn to  me." 

It  was  in  less  than  three  years,  during  which  time  she  was  ten- 
derly cared  for  by  her  son,  Dr.  Lucius  Higley,  and  his  family, 
that  she  joined  her  husband  in  his  eternal  home. 

She  departed  this  life,  Febuary  4,  1850,  aged  eighty-nine  years 
and  one  month,  and  was  laid  to  rest  by  his  side. 

"  So  willing  to  toil  and  suffer, 
To  care  and  watch  for  all, 
So  near  in  heart  to  the  Master, 
So  eager  to  follow  His  call  ; 
She  spent  her  soul  in  His  service  sweet, 
And  only  in  death  could  rest  at  His  feet." 

Brewster  Higley,  4th,  and  his  wife  Naomi  were  the  parents 
of  seven  children,  six  of  whom  were  born  at  Castleton,  Vt.,  the 
seventh  near  Rutland,  O.  They  were  as  follows  : 


Brewster  Higley,  jt/i,    Susan,    Cyrus,    Theresa,   Harriet,  Lucius, 
and  Joseph  Trumbiill  Higley. 

For  descendants  of  Brewster  Higley,  $th,  see  chapter  xxxix. 

Continued  from  page  171. 

LOUISA  HIGLEY,  the  eldest  daughter  of  Brewster  Higley,  3d, 
born  August  9,  1761,  married  Benajah  Guernsey  Roots,  the  son 
of  the  Rev.  Benajah  Roots  of  Simsbury,  Conn,  on  the  pth  of 
January,  1783.  They  settled  at  West  Rutland,  Vt. 

Their  children  were  : 

Alanson,  Esther,  Zeruah,  Polly,' Betsey,  Louisa,  and  Caroline. 

Louisa  Higley  Roots  died  May  16,  1832. 

ALANSON,  her  eldest  child,  removed  to  Ohio.  He  was  the  father  of  Guernsey  Y. 
Roots,  the  head  of  the  widely  known  commission  firm  of  Roots  &  Co.,  of  Cin- 
cinnati, O. 

ESTHER,  the  second  child,  died  unmarried.  ZERUAH  married  John  Jordon  ; 
POLLY  married  Bryant  Bartlett,  and  removed  to  Michigan  ;  BETSEY  died  unmarried  ; 
LOUISA  died  unmarried  ;  and  CAROLINE  married  the  Rev.  Mr.  Prince  of  Michigan, 
with  whom  Mrs.  Louisa  Higley  Roots  spent  the  last  years  of  her  life. 

PROFESSOR  CYRUS  GUERNSEY  PRINGLE,  A.  M.,  the  distinguished  American 
botanist,  the  great-grandson  of  Louisa  Higley,  has  performed  notable  public  service 
in  the  line  of  his  chosen  science.  He  has  made  extensive  reports  for  the  census 
of  1880,  upon  the  forests  of  some  of  the  New  England  States,  Northern  New 
York,  Pennsylvania,  and  West  Virginia.  For  the  past  ten  years  he  has  been  a 
collector  of  plants  in  Northern  and  Central  Mexico.  He  worked  under  the 
direction  of  Dr.  Gray  of  Harvard  College,  until  the  death  of  the  latter,  and  since 
under  the  patronage  of  Professor  Sereno  Watson  of  Cambridge,  and  of  Professor 
Sargeant  of  the  Arnold  Arboretum.  He  has  discovered  hundreds  of  species,  many 
of  which  bear  his  name  ;  and  recently  Dr.  Watson  has  founded  a  new  genus — Neo- 
pringlia — in  his  honor.  His  plants  go  into  all  the  leading  herbaria  of  Europe  and 
America,  as  he  has  secured  a  very  high  reputation  among  botanists  for  his  accuracy 
of  observation,  and  for  the  neatness  and  completeness  of  his  specimens. 

ANNIE,  the  second  daughter  of  Brewster  Higley,  3d,  and 
Esther  Owen,  born  April  13,  1764,  married  Lieutenant  Samuel 
Campbell,  September  22,  1786,  and  was  the  mother  of  thirteen 
children,  viz  : 

John,  Annie,  Cyrus,  Phebe,  Attrtlia,  Samuel,  Amanda,  Esther, 
Chauncey,  Milo,  Minerva,  Harvey,  and  one  whose  name  is  not  given. 

They  resided  at  West  Rutland,  Vt.  Several  of  their  children 
removed  to  Ohio.  Annie  (Higley)  Campbell  died  January  20, 
1852.  Her  husband,  Lieutenant  Campbell,  died  1812. 

ZILPAH,  the  third  daughter  of  Brewster  Higley,  3d,  born 
December  8,  1766,  died  unmarried,  March  30,  1798. 


It  is  recorded  that  a  half  bushel  of  silver  coin,  a  part  of  the 
legacy  left  by  Brewster  Higley,  2d,  to  his  son  Brewster,  3d, 
was  received  by  the  latter  from  Connecticut  in  1794. 

A  part  of  this  money  was  spent  in  the  purchase  of  a  necklace 
of  gold  beads  for  each  one  of  the  eight  daughters  of  the  family  ; 
and  the  remaining  amount  was  used  in  furnishing  the  new  red 
frame  house,  and  in  taking  this  invalid  daughter,  Zilpah,  for  the 
benefit  of  her  health  to  the  newly  discovered,  and  now  famous, 
Congress  Spring  at  "Sarratogua. "  But  the  effort  to  recover  her 
health  proved  fruitless.  She  continued  to  decline  till  death 
released  her. 

DELIGHT,  the  fourth  daughter  of  Brewster  Higley,  3d,  born 
August  23,  1769,  married  Deacon  Enos  Merrill  of  Farmington, 
Conn.,  November  23,  1789.  They  settled  in  Castleton,  Vt., 
where  they  lived  long  and  useful  lives.  They  had  four  children.' 
The  family  possessed  musical  talent,  and  directed  the  singing  on 
all  of  the  social  occasions  of  the  church  for  a  great  many  years. 

Deacon  Enos  Merrill  died  at  Milton,  Vt,  August  9,  1858,  in 
the  ninetieth  year  of  his  age.  His  wife  died  at  Castleton, 
October  13,  1800.  Their  children  were  : 

Lucy,  Allison,  Owen,  who  removed  to  Ohio  ;  Selah  Higley,  and 

Delight  (Higley)  Merrill's  two  sons  and  two  grandsons  were 
graduated  at  Middlebury  College,  Vermont. 

Of  their  daughter  LUCY'S  children  was  the  Rev.  Edwin  Hoyt  of  Grand  Rapids, 
Mich.,  who  was  graduated  in  1836  at  Middlebury.  His  son,  Judge  Birney  Hoyt, 
resides  in  Detroit,  Mich. 

Hon.  SELAH  HIGLEY  MERRILL,  the  second  son  of  Delight  Higley  Merrill,  was 
a  prominent  lawyer  in  Castleton;  register  of  Probate,  1814,  1823,  1829,  1837; 
representative  to  the  State  Legislature  1831-38  ;  and  States  attorney  1829-37.  He 
died  1839. 

LAURA,  her  youngest  daughter,  married  Professor  Henry  Howe,  who  was  prin- 
cipal of  the  Canandaigua  Academy,  New  York,  for  twenty-four  years.  He  died 
in  1865,  He  was  graduated  at  Middlebury  College,  Vermont,  in  1817. 


Continued  from  page  171. 

Erastus,  Brewster,  sd,   Brewster,  2d,  Brewster,  ist,  Captain  John  Higley. 
By  Rev.  Henry  Post  Higley,  D.  D. 

Blessed  the  natures  shored  on  every  side 
With  landmarks  of  hereditary  thought ! 
Thrice  happy  they  that  wonder  not  life-long 
Beyond  near  succor  of  the  household  faith. 
The  guarded  fold  that  shelters,  not  confines  '. 
Their  steps  find  patience  in  familiar  paths, 
Printed  with  hope  hy  loved  feet  gone  before 
Of  parent,  child,  or  lover. 


ERASTUS  HIGLEY  was  born  in  Simsbury,  Conn.,  May  16,  1772. 
He  was  the  sixth  of  ten  children  born  to  Brewster,  3d,  and  Esther 
Owen  Higley — Brewster,  4th,  the  first  born,  and  himself  being 
the  only  sons.  Brewster  Higley,  3d,  the  father,  removed  with 
the  eight  children  then  born,  from  Simsbury,  Conn.,  to  Castleton, 
Vt.,  1779,  and  settled  upon  the  farm  that  was  to  have  the  Higley 
title  plowed  in,  by  a  little  more  than  a  hundred  years  of  occu- 
pancy, extending  from  himself  to  children  of  the  fifth  generation. 

Erastus  would  have  been  a  boy  of  seven  when  the  journey  was 
made  to  the  new  home.  He  was  not  old  enough  to  bear  any 
part  in  the  war  of  the  Revolution,  but  his  child-memory  reached 
back  to  those,  times.  Once,  when  the  family  were  removed  for  a 
little  while  from  home  for  their  safety,  he  carefully  hid  his  store 
of  beech-nuts  from  the  Britishers,  to  find  them  gone  when  he 
returned,  nicely  shelled  by  deermice. 

Following  the  example  of  his  father  and  the  two  preceding 
Brewsters,  Erastus  chose  an  Esther  to  be  queen  of  his  kingdom. 
October  9,  1798,  Erastus  Higley  and  Esther  Anna  Guernsey  were 
married.  He  was  twenty-six  years  of  age;  she  a  few  months 
older.  Erastus  Higley  was  called  "a  man  of  good  judgment,"  in 
after  years.  He  never  showed  it  more  plainly  than  in  the  choice 
of  his  wife.  Fifty-nine  years  of  married  life  followed,  wedded  to 
one  who  lives  in  the  memory  of  her  grandchildren,  as  nearly 



perfect  as  it  is  given  to  woman  to  attain.  In  stature  she  was 
rather  below  medium  height,  slight  and  yet  compact ;  in  manner 
quiet  and  self-contained  ;  a  gentle  spirit,  well  balanced  with  firm- 
ness, love,  and  truth,  to  which  was  joined  rare  common  sense; 
practical  skill  and  judgment  were  well-nigh  lost  sight  of  in  that 
deeper  spiritual  insight  which  only  they  attain  whose  lives  know 
the  same  companionship  that  marked  the  patriarch  Enoch.  What 
a  blessed  grandmother  she  was  ! 

Seven  years  after  this  marriage,  the  death  of  the  father  left 
Erastus  Higley,  at  thirty-three  years  of  age,  with  the  full  care 
of  a  varied  business  on  his  hands. 

Beside  farming  and  stock-raising,  they  had  two  years  before 
undertaken  a  carding  machine  and  fulling-mill  business,  and  a 
grist-mill  and  marble  sawing  were  added. 

He  was  one  of  the  company  that  built  the  dam  on  Castleton 
River  at  the  village.  He  sold  his  interest  in  the  water-power  to 
S.  H.  Langdon  in  1835.  Building  had  a  large  place  in  his  life. 
The  forests  were  cut  down  to  furnish  a  place  for  pasturage  and 
crops,  but  construction  turned  much  of  the  forests  into  per- 
manent shelter  and  use.  A  large  barn  was  built,  while  smaller 
barns,  sheds,  and  fences  filled  out  a  full  line  of  such  production. 
The  chief  work  of  all  was  the  substantial  and  spacious  brick  house 
completed  in  1812.  A  large  cider-mill  was  built,  and  a  still  pre- 
pared to  manufacture  cider-brandy,  but  the  opening  of  the  tem- 
perance reformation  won  his  approval,  and  mill  and  still  were 
never  used  save  as  the  former  became  a  barn. 

The  following,  taken  from  the  address  of  his  grandson,  Professor 
Edwin  Hall  Higley,  at  the  Higley  reunion  held  at  Simsbury, 
Conn.,  in  1890,  is  here  inserted  : 

"  The  quantity  of  self-denial  shown  in  thus  giving  up  the  cider  business  can  be 
appreciated  only  when  one  recalls  the  excessive  use  of  spirituous  beverages  which 
then  prevailed  among  all  people,  and  on  all  public  and  private  occasions.  The 
cellar  of  the  brick  house  which  Erastus  Higley  completed  in  1812,  was  designed 
with  especial  reference  to  the  reception  of  cider.  It  was  deep  and  cool  and  spa- 
cious, and  divided  into  numerous  rooms,  alcoves,  and  recesses.  It  was  all  floored  with 
broad,  smooth  slabs  of  slate-stone,  and  in  some  places  stone  shelves  stood  along  the 
walls.  Here  the  cider  and  the  other  preparations  of  apple-juice  were  to  be  stored, 
and  the  fame  of  Deacon  Brewster,  2d's,  large  cider  mill  and  distillery  was  to  be 
revived.  Fifty  barrels  was  the  regular  annual  supply  for  the  family.  This  amount 
was  not  consumed,  however,  by  the  Higleys  alone.  On  Sundays,  during  the  recess 
between  the  morning  and  afternoon  sermons,  all  the  church-goers  who  lived  at  a  dis- 
tance from  the  meeting-house  used  to  repair  regularly  to  Deacon  Higley's  for  a  little 


bodily  refreshment.  Huge  pans  filled  with  doughnuts  (prepared  on  the  preceding 
Saturday)  and  mugs  of  cider  were  consumed  on  these  occasions.  Mrs.  Zeruah 
Caswell,  a  granddaughter  of  Brewster,  3d,  who  is  still  living  (1895),  well  remem- 
bers the  scene  when  these  large  companies  were  assembled  on  a  Sunday  noon, 
warming  their  mugs  of  cider  in  the  embers  of  the  enormous  fireplace.  That  no 
secular  thoughts  or  conversation  might  arise  to  disturb  the  sanctity  of  the  day, 
someone  always  read  aloud  from  a  volume  of  sermons  during  the  progress  of  these 
solemnities.  A  book  of  sermons  which  was  kept  for  this  use  is  still  preserved  in  the 
family.  When,  however,  as  above  stated,  the  New  England  conscience  became 
generally  aroused  to  the  dangers  resulting  from  strong  drink,  the  cider  was  given 
up,  and  the  huge  wooden  screws  and  other  timbers  for  the  presses  were  piled  away 
in  a  barn  where  we  boys  used  to  play.  The  barrels  still  remained  in  the  various 
rooms  and  alcoves  of  the  cellar,  barrels  of  different  sorts  and  sizes,  some  stout  and 
some  slender,  others  long  and  queer-shaped,  which  had  served  for  the  divers  brands 
of  cider,  cider  brandy,  and  apple-jack  in  the  old  days.  But  they  were  empty  and 
covered  with  dust  and  cobwebs,  and  we  grew  up  to  regard  them  as  a  conventional 
furnishing  for  a  cellar,  but  as  having  no  conceivable  use." 

The  brick  house  of  1812  has  been  the  Higley  home  for  more 
than  seventy-five  years.  Counting  children,  it  has  well  served 
four  generations,  who  have  known  its  shelter,  comfort,  rest,  and 
cheer;  its  condition  giving  promise  of  a  long  future  yet. 

No  notice  of  the  "  subject  of  this  sketch  "  would  be  complete 
that  did  not  recall  his  unusual  physical  strength.  He  was  a  well 
built  man  of  about  six  feet  in  height,  but  if  one  may  believe  the 
stories  told  of  him,  he  had  muscles  of  steel.  Such  items  as  these 
could  be  gleaned:  a  balky  horse  felled  by  a  blow  of  his  fist;  logs 
loaded,  by  himself  and  a  big  Irishman  in  his  employ,  as  other  men 
would  handle  rails  ;  medical  students  caught  plundering  his 
orchard  tossed  headlong  over  the  fence.  Rev.  John  Spaulding 
writes  of  him  "while  he  was  Sheriff  of  Rutland  County  a  man 
in  the  neighborhood  committed  a  crime  which  shocked  and  deeply 
stirred  the  vengeance  of  the  whole  community.  Armed  to  the 
teeth  the  criminal  fled  to  the  fields,  threatening  death  to  any- 
one who  should  lay  hands  on  him.  Sheriff  Higley  had  the  nerve 
to  tame,  and  the  muscular  strength  to  lodge  him  in  prison." 

The  estimate  of  his  fellow-citizens  was  shown  in  various  offices 
and  trusts,  which  he  filled  with  fidelity  and  honor.  He  repre- 
sented the  town  in  the  Legislature  in  1839  and  in  1840.  He  was 
made  Judge  of  Probate  in  1814  and  again  in  1821  and  in  1823. 

Whatever  his  early  training  may  have  been,  he  was  a  man  of 
substantial  culture,  by  virtue  of  his  associations,  his  reading,  and 
his  own  thinking.     Even  in  his  old  age  he  became  interested  and 
well  informed  in  the  then  advancing  science  of  geology. 


He  was  a  man  that  had  earnest  convictions  on  all  matters  of 
public  interest.  He  was  a  zealous  Whig — the  last  colt  raised  on 
the  farm  while  it  was  under  his  supervision  was  named  "  Zachary 
Taylor  "  ! 

He  was  a  strong  anti-slavery  man,  with  the  courage  of  his  con- 
victions. When  occasion  demanded  he  aided  with  the  business 
of  the  underground  railroad. 

In  a  great  revival  in  Castleton,  Erastus  Higley  and  Esther 
Anna,  his  wife,  with  their  sons,  Harvey  and  Nelson,  were  part 
of  a  company  of  ninety-one  who  confessed  Christ,  and  joined  the 
Congregational  Church,  an  February  2,  1817. 

In  1834,  he  was  chosen  deacon,  and  served  the  church  in  that 
office  till  his  death,  twenty-seven  years  after.  He  was  a  con- 
scientious and  intelligent  Christian,  a  liberal  supporter  of  the 
gospel,  an  earnest,  faithful,  and  judicious  officer  of  the  church. 

Seven  children  were  born  to  Erastus  and  Esther  Anna  Higley, 
in  the  fifteen  years  following  their  marriage.  The  mother  out- 
lived all  but  two  of  these,  and  the  father  all  but  one.  Thus  come 
trial  and  sorrow  as  well  as  blessing. 

"  Bits  of  brightening  and  of  darkening, 
Bits  of  weariness  and  of  rest, 
All  the  hoping  and  despairing, 
Of  the  full  or  hollow  breast. 
With  these  is  life  begun  and  closed, 
Of  these  its  strange  mosaic  composed." 

Financial  embarrassments  were  also  in  his  old  age  a  sore  dis- 
appointment to  this  strong,  and  for  that  period  successful,  man. 
Even  with  the  burden  of  increasing  years  he  chafed  at  any  limi- 
tation of  his  strength.  His  health  was  impaired  by  a  partial  sun- 
stroke, and  perhaps  by  the  too  little  caution  to  which  his  strength 
and  ardor  inclined  him.  From  this  cause  came  a  check  upon 
accumulation  ;  there  was  added  an  unfortunate  interest  in  a 
bank,  which  was  almost  wrecked  by  a  cashier  ;  a  root  (Root)  of 
trouble  that  it  took  in  the  end  a  good  part  of  the  farm  to  root 
out.  Yet  amid  these  clouds  of  life  there  was  a  silver  lining  in 
their  perfected  discipline:  very  clearly  it  shone  in  the  aged 
grandmother,  as  she  grew  ripe  in  faith  and  grace  and  beauty 
of  character  for  the  waiting  home  in  heaven.  Not  many  saw  a 
tender  side  to  Judge  Erastus  Higley.  Yet  a  grandson  remembers 
how  it  did  appear  even  in  the  midst  of  these  annoyances. 


Speaking  of  this  bank  loss  the  old  man  said  :  "  I  ought  to  have 
heeded  your  grandmother  when  she  cried  and  begged  me  not  to 
mortgage  the  farm.  She  always  knew  best,  and  gave  me  sound 
advice.  I  thought  I  knew  better  than  she  about  such  business, 
fool  that  I  was  ;  I  was  mistaken,  and  she  was  right."  The  tears 
and  tones  of  these  words  made  them  a  tribute  to  a  faithful  wife, 
and  told  how  the  heart  of  her  husband  rested  in  her. 

Both  lived  to  pass  well  beyond  the  boundary  of  fourscore  years, 
going  from  useful  lines  to  the  welcome  and  reward  that  awaits 
those  who  had  sought  faithfully  to  serve  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ. 

Erastus  Higley  died  September  3,  1861. 

Esther  Anna  Higley,  his  wife,  died  November  13,  1857.  They 
rest  side  by  side  in  the  Castleton  cemetery. 

The  seven  children  born  to  Erastus  and  Esther  Anna  Higley 

Sarah  Maria,  Hervey  Owen,  Nelson,  Zilpah,  Esther  Ann,  Erne- 
line,  and  Columbus. 

SARAH  MARIA  HIGLEY,  the  eldest  child,  born  January  27,  1799,  married  Marquis 
de  Lafayette  Hooker  April  7,  1825.  He  was  born  February  22, 1792.  Mr.  Hooker 
was  a  widower  with  two  children  ;  he  was  a  descendant  of  the  noted  Rev.  Thomas 
Hooker,  the  founder  of  Hartford,  Conn.  They  resided  in  Hampton,  N.  Y. 

Marquis  de  Hooker  died  August  18,  1831,  leaving  with  his  widow  five  children, 
three  of  whom  died  of  scarlet  fever  within  one  week.  Sarah  M.  (Higley)  Hooker 
married,  second,  March  9,  1841,  Joseph  Morse  of  Poultney,  Vt.,  where  she  resided 
the  remainder  of  her  life.  She  died  August  22,  1860. 

NELSON  HIGLEY,  the  third  child  of  Erastus  and  Esther  Anna  Higley,  was  born 
October  6,  1803,  and  prepared  for  college  in  the  Rutland  County  Grammar  School, 
Castleton,  Vt.,  the  oldest  chartered  school  in  the  State,  and  was  graduated  from 
Middlebury  (Vt.)  College  in  1826.  He  chose  the  ministry  for  his  profession. 
During  his  theological  studies  the  succeeding  three  years,  his  health  became  im- 
paired, which  he  never  recovered.  He  was  ordained  in  1829.  Though  the  hand  of 
death  was  visibly  upon  him,  his  spirit  was  firm  in  its  purpose  and  he  preached — 
supplying  destitute  churches — three  years  without  a  settled  parish.  His  strength 
then  succumbed.  He  died  March  19,  1832.  He  never  married. 

ZILPAH,  the  fourth  child  of  Erastus  and  Esther  Anna  Higley,  was  born 
November  5,  1805.  She  received  a  good  education  at  the  Rutland  Grammar 
School  in  Castleton.  On  May  12,  1835,  she  became  the  third  wife  of  Josiah  Per- 
kins, M.  D.,  who  was  then  the  Dean  of  the  Castleton  Medical  College,  and  a  physi- 
cian highly  honored  by  the  profession.  Her  married  life  covered  a  period  of  less 
than  one  year.  She  gave  birth  to  a  daughter,  Mary  Amelia  Zilpah  Perkins,  dying 
in  childbirth,  March  25,  1836. 

Her  daughter  married  the  Rev.  Nathaniel  P.  Gilbert  of  Pittsford,  September 


29,  1860,  and  went  immediately  to  Santiago,  Chili,  where  five  daughters  were 
born  to  them.  The  date  of  her  death  has  not  been  given. 

ESTHER  ANN,  the  fifth  child  of  Erastus  and  Esther  Anna  Higley,  was  born  Janu- 
ary 25,  1808,  and  died  aged  seventeen.  Her  father  writes  :  "She  had  a  strong 
and  retentive  memory,  which  rendered  her  capable  of  unusual  progress  in  the 
acquisition  of  knowledge  in  whatever  branch  she  pursued." 

Without  extraordinary  advantages  she  excelled  in  the  studies  that  were  then 
commonly  taught  in  the  schools,  and  in  English  literature  ;  and  had  few  rivals  in  her 
style  of  English  composition.  With  little  assistance  she  acquired  French  so  that 
she  read  and  translated  it  into  English  with  much  facility.  Before  she  was  thirteen 
years  of  age  she  committed  to  memory  and  recited  the  Gospels  of  St.  Matthew, 
St.  Mark,  and  St.  John,  the  Acts,  Romans,  First  Corinthians,  and  a  part  of  Second 

In  her  fourteenth  year  she  made  public  profession  of  religion.  She  died  in  the 
Christian  faith,  March  4,  1825. 

EMELINE,  the  sixth  child  of  Erastus  and  Esther  Anna  Higley,  was  born  Septem- 
ber 22,  1810,  and  died  June  20,  1817. 

COLUMBUS,  the  seventh  and  youngest  child,  born  August  13,  1813,  died  April  12, 



Continued  from  page  247. 

By  his  son,  Professor  Edwin  Hall  Higley. 

Hervey  Owen,  Erastus,  Brewster,  3d,  Brewster,  ad,  Brewster,  ist,  Captain  John  Higley. 
One  generation  passeth  away,  and  another  generation  cometh. — ECCLESIASTICUS  i,  iv. 

HERVEY  OWEN  HIGLEY,  the  eldest  son  of  Erastus  and  Esther 
Anna  Higley,  was  born  in  Castleton,  Vt.,  July  14,  1801.  His  first 
home  was  the  "  Southmayd  House,"  where  his  parents  had  made 
their  home  since  their  marriage  in  1798.  In  1805  occurred  the 
death  of  his  grandfather,  Brewster  Higley,  3d,  when  his  parents 
returned  to  the  "old  red  house,"  and  resided  with  the  mother 
till  1811,  when  the  new  brick  house  was  built,  in  which  members 
of  the  family  dwelt  until  1886. 

Hervey  was  the  second  child  of  his  parents.  He  was  of  a  quick 
and  thoughtful  disposition,  and  possessed  of  a  retentive  memory 
from  his  earliest  years.  He  had  a  distinct  remembrance  of  his 
grandmother,  Guernsey,  who  died  when  he  was  but  three  years 
old.  He  vividly  remembered  a  reproof  for  wastefulness  which 
the  old  lady  gave  him,  warning  him  that  God  looked  with  dis- 
favor upon  those  who  wantonly  destroyed  any  of  his  good  crea- 
tions. Seventy  years  after  he  recounts  this  early  lesson,  suggest- 
ing that  the  impression  then  received  might  have  been  the  origin 
of  an  overcautiousness  about  "  saving  the  fragments  that  nothing 
be  lost."  Other  reminiscences  which  he  recorded  of  his  child- 
hood show  him  to  have  been  peculiarly  sensitive  to  anything 
involving  rebuke  or  humiliation.  Owing  to  his  father's  positive 
and  incisive  character,  opportunities  for  such  impressions  were 
doubtless  somewhat  frequent. 

In  1874,  commenting  upon  some  of  his  early  memories,  Hervey 
wrote:  "  Parents  should  as  much  beware  of  exposing  their  child 
to  too  deep  a  sense  of  shame  on  the  one  hand,  as  of  cultivating 
vanity  on  the  other." 

Partly  as  a  result  of  the  home  influences,  and  partly  no  doubt 
as  an  inheritance,  his  disposition  was  early  shy,  shrinking,  and 



bashful,  characteristics  which  he  felt  to  be  a  burden  throughout 
his  whole  life.  His  boyhood,  however,  was  a  happy  one,  and  en- 
livened with  much  social  visiting  and  intercourse  among  the 
numerous  cousins — the  Roots,  Campbells,  Merrills,  Guernseys, 
Denisons,  the  Porter  and  Cross  families,  who  all  dwelt  in  or  near 

In  the  early  summer  of  1811,  just  as  the  new  brick  house — the 
old  Higley  homestead — was  commenced,  he  planted  near  the  west 
door  a  maple  tree,  which  has  grown  to  large  proportions,  and  is 
still  standing  (1892). 

In  1817  a  deep  religious  interest  spread  over  Castleton,  and  on 
February  2  eighty-six  persons  united  with  the  church — the  Con- 
gregational. Among  these  were  Erastus  Higley  and  his  wife  and 
their  three  eldest  children,  Sarah,  Hervey,  and  Nelson. 

Some  two  or  three  years  later  Hervey  was  pursuing  his  studies 
in  the  Rutland  County  Grammar  School  in  Castleton,  and  was 
urged  by  his  preceptor,  Henry  Howe,  to  prepare  for  college. 

In  those  days  a  religious  lad  rarely  went  to  college  unless  with 
the  view  to  becoming  a  minister  of  the  Gospel.  And  after  much 
prayerful  consideration,  he  decided  to  study  for  the  sacred  pro- 

He  entered  college  at  Middlebury,  Vt.,  in  1822  as  a  sophomore, 
and  was  graduated  in  1825.  He  was  distinguished  for  scholar- 
ship during  his  college  course,  and  received  the  valedictory  honor 
at  graduation. 

A  fine  critical  discernment  in  philological  and  literary  matters 
was  his  prominent  intellectual  trait,  which  he  retained  to  after 
years.  He  carried  the  habit  of.  self-criticism  to  an  extreme 
which  he  believed  to  have  hindered  him  in  his  subsequent  labors. 
"How  often,"  he  writes,  "have  I  detected  myself  hesitating, 
when  addressing  a  public  assembly,  to  speak  the  word  in  mind, 
questioning  if  another  word  would  not  be  more  appropriate  or 

He  formed  many  close  friendships  during  his  college  life  with 
men  whom  he  ever  afterward  held  in  high  esteem  and  affection, 
and  some  of  whom,  in  after  years,  attained  great  eminence. 

In  March,  1825,  shortly  before  his  graduation,  the  family  life 
was  saddened  by  the  death  of  his  sister,  Esther  Ann,  seventeen 
years  of  age  and  of  unusual  promise,  as  her  sprightly  letters  and 
essays  show. 

Hervey  was  much  affected  by  this  parting,  and  writes  of  "the 


views  he  then  had  of  the  vanity  and  worthlessness  of  earthly 
good,  and  the  inexpressible  value  of  true  religion." 

After  leaving  college  he  taught  in  the  Academy  at  St.  Albans, 
Vt,  with  pleasure  and  success.  He  then  entered  the  Theological 
Seminary  at  Andover.  Dr.  Ebenzer  Porter,  the  senior  professor 
at  Andover,  was  a  brother  of  Jared  Porter,  who  had  married 
Harley  Higley,  an  aunt  of  Hervey,  and  Professor  Porter,  through 
this  relationship,  was  led  to  take  a  special  interest  in  him  during 
his  studies  at  Andover. 

These  studies  were  entered  upon  and  continued  with  delight. 
Concerning  them  he  afterward  wrote:  "The  Hebrew  language, 
while  it  was  the  treasure-house  of  such  important  truths,  was 
rich  enough  in  rhetorical  and  philological  beauties  to  make  every 
lesson  a  feast."  He  found,  too,  an  "absorbing  interest  in  the 
exegesis  of  the  New  Testament,  pursuing  the  precise  sense  and 
meaning  of  the  words  used  by  evangelist  and  prophet." 

At  this  time  he  made  an  index  to  one  of  Professor  Porter's 
published  works,  for  which  a  note  of  acknowledgment  from  Dr. 
Porter  is  preserved. 

In  his  senior  year  his  classmate  Henry  Little  (afterward  the 
well  known  Home  Mission  Secretary  of  Indiana),  invited  him  to 
join  him  in  a  sleigh  ride  of  fifty  miles  to  his  home  at  Bascomen, 
N.  H.  The  invitation  was  accepted.  Some  seven  miles  from 
the  house  they  stopped  at  a  ladies'  school  which  Henry  Little's 
sister  Sarah  was  attending  ;  the  sister  was  persuaded  to  become  a 
third  inmate  of  the  sleigh  and  accompany  them  to  the  homestead. 

Thus  a  pleasant  acquaintance  was  commenced,  and  the  days  of 
the  furlough  seemed  too  short.  The  acquaintance  was  continued 
by  correspondence,  and  a  marriage  engagement  ensued. 

After  he  was  graduated  at  Andover,  Hervey  Owen  Higley  was 
ordained  as  an  evangelist  by  the  Newburyport  Presbytery,  Sep- 
tember 24,  1829,  at  Boston. 

Fifteen  others  commissioned  for  home  and  foreign  missionary 
work  were  ordained  at  the  same  time.  The  choice  of  a  field  for 
future  labor  had  received  much  thought.  He  felt  strongly  the 
claim  of  the  foreign  field,  and  his  facility  in  acquiring  a  new 
language  was  urged  by  his  friends  as  an  indication  of  his  fitness 
for  such  labor. 

But  after  much  prayer  and  consultation  with  his  parents  and 
friends,  he  decided  for  home  missionary  work  in  the  sparsely 
settled  State  of  Ohio. 


On  the  29th  of  September,  1829,  he  was  married  to  Sarah 
Gerrish  Little,  and  after  a  visit  to  his  parents  they  set  out  on 
their  three  weeks'  journey  to  Ohio.  They  went  by  stage  from 
Poultney,  Vt,  to  Albany,  N.  Y.,  and  thence  to  Schenectady,  where 
they  embarked  on  the  "safe  waters  of  the  Erie  Canal."  This 
brought  them  to  Lockport,  whence  they  journeyed  by  stage  via 
Niagara  Falls  to  Buffalo.  At  Buffalo  they  took  a  sailboat  to 
Cleveland,  O.  There  they  again  took  a  canalboat  going  to  Mas- 
silon,  O.,  and  from  thence  by  stage  to  Granville,  Licking  County, 
where  their  brother,  Jacob  Little,  was  already  established. 

During  the  next  seven  years  Mr.  Higley  became  familiar  with 
all  the  hardships  and  experiences  of  home  missionary  life  in  a 
new  country.  Long  rides  on  horseback  over  muddy  roads, 
through  swollen  rivers  and  dense  forests  ;  preaching  in  rude 
structures  of  logs,  and  laboring  among  a  rough  and  heteroge- 
neous population,  made  up  his  daily  life. 

His  first  parish  was  Georgetown,  near  the  Ohio  River.  The 
inhabitants  were  largely  from  Kentucky,  without  much  receptivity 
for  Yankees  or  New  England  ideas  on  temperance,  Bible  classes, 
or  general  decorum,  and  still  less  for  their  notions  about  taste 
and  refinement. 

Mr.  Higley  labored  among  this  inharmonious  people  for  a  year 
with  moderate  success,  and  then  removed  to  Hartford,  Licking 
County,  where  he  saw  his  church  increase  under  his  ministration 
from  twenty-four  to  one  hundred  within  three  years. 

In  1835  his  health  succumbed  to  the  continued  fever  and  ague 
contracted  during  the  first  year  at  Georgetown.  He  made  a 
journey  to  Peoria,  111.,  whither  another  brother-in-law  had  gone, 
and  for  a  time  the  question  of  going  to  this  farther  and  newer 
region,  or  of  returning  to  Vermont  for  a  season  of  rest  and 
recruiting,  hung  in  the  balance.  The  decease  of  his  brother 
Nelson,  his  brother-in-law  Hooker,  and  sister  Zilpah,  leaving  his 
father  and  mother  quite  bereft,  decided  the  question,  and  in  the 
early  summer  of  1836  he  returned  to  the  Castleton  home.  Here 
he  dwelt  until  his  death  in  1878.  His  health  was  partially  restored 
after  his  return  to  Vermont,  but  it  was  never  strong. 

The  influence  of  his  life  in  the  home,  the  church,  and  the  social 
and  intellectual  world  about  him  cannot  be  adequately  chronicled. 
Who  can  make  a  summary  of  the  good  accomplished  in  forty 
years  of  noble  Christian  living  ? 

The  "hired  men  "  employed  in  his  service  were  usually  con- 


verted  during  their  stay  with  him,  and,  if  capable,  were  encouraged 
to  make  effort  for  more  education  and  fit  themselves  as  useful 
members  of  society.  He  filled  and  magnified  the  office  of  super- 
intendent of  the  Castleton  schools.  Many  teachers  would  bear 
testimony  to  his  helpfulness  in  their  work.  He  was  clerk  of  the 
Castleton  Congregational  Church  for  thirty  years.  In  1847  ne 
accepted  the  office  of  deacon,  an  office  which  had  been  held  in 
the  same  church  by  his  father,  grandfather,  and  two  great-grand- 
fathers before  him. 

It  is  altogether  probable  that  all  the  successive  pastors  with 
whom  he  served  would  concur  in  the  statement  of  the  Rev.  Lewis 
Francis  at  the  Church  Centennial  in  1884  ;  Mr.  Francis  spoke 
thus  of  Deacon  Higley: 

"  A  more  faithful,  godly,  and  able  officer  no  church  could  desire.  A  man  of 
scholarly  ability,  and  educated  for  the  ministry,  he  accepted  the  office  of  deacon,  and 
in  his  kindly  sympathy,  in  his  generous  appreciation  of  his  pastor's  work,  in  his 
untiring  faithfulness,  every  pastor  had  reason  to  rejoice." 

Deacon  Higley  was  a  member  of  the  Board  of  Trustees  of  the 
Castleton  Seminary,  and  was  constantly  watchful  of  its  progress 
and  interests.  He  contributed  occasional  pithy  articles  to  the 
religious  newspapers,  wrote  papers  for  the  Rutland  County 
Conference  of  Ministers,  delivered  interesting  temperance  and 
Sunday  school  addresses,  and  aided  in  all  good  causes  as  much  as 
his  health  would  permit. 

His  classics  never  grew  rusty.  A  knotty  page  of  Latin  was 
sure  of  a  graceful  translation  at  any  call,  and  his  Greek  Testa- 
ment was  a  portion  of  his  daily  reading. 

He  died  after  a  brief  illness,  by  a  sudden  attack  of  pneumonia, 
April  4,  1878,  and  was  interred  in  Castleton  cemetery,  where  a 
suitable  monument  marks  the  spot. 

His  classmate  and  lifelong  correspondent,  the  Rev.  John 
Spaulding,  D.  D.,  writes:  "The  analysis  of  such  a  character 
strongly  reveals  the  noble  virtues  of  sincerity,  integrity,  faith- 
fulness, and  usefulness."  The  following  lines  are  from  the  poem 
by  Rev.  George  F.  Hunting,  delivered  at  the  Castleton  Cen- 
tennial, 1884: 

"  And  lo,  another,  long  revered, 
Stanch  Deacon  Higley,  calm  and  wise  ; 
I  mark  his  slow,  deliberate  speech, 
And  see  the  kindness  in  his  eyes. 


He  stood  beside  the  stream  of  life, 
A  sturdy  oak,  so  strong  of  limb 
That  we,  who  sported  on  the  tide, 
And  drifted  over  to  his  side, 
Knew  we  could  moor  our  little  boat, 
And  lie  in  safety,  tied  to  him  !  " 



EMMA  LITTLE  HIGLEY,  the  eldest  child  of  Hervey  O.  and 
Sarah  Gerrish  Higley,  was  born  at  Hartford,  Licking  County,  O., 
March  12,  1834. 

Her  birth  took  place  during  the  brief  period  of  the  missionary 
labors  of  her  father  while  her  parents  were  residing  in  the  then 
"backwoods  State." 

On  their  return  to  Vermont  in  the  summer  of  1836,  while  she 
was  yet  the  baby  of  the  household,  she  was  brought  to  Castleton, 
where  she  was  reared  in  the  ancient  Higley  homestead. 

The  seminary  at  Castleton  was  the  scene  of  her  school-life. 
The  inspiration  for  the  "love  of  study,"  for  which  that  honored 
institution  was  famed  in  those  days,  reached  in  her  a  mind 
capable  of  comprehension — and  well  balanced.  She  developed 
into  a  good  and  true  woman,  and  a  teacher  of  fine  ability. 

She  was  graduated  in  the  class  of  1852.  In  1868-69  she  taught 
in  the  seminary  from  which  she  was  graduated,  and  soon  after 
one  of  her  pleasing  experiences  was  the  teaching  of  a  select 
school  of  twelve  girls.  For  a  period  covering  fifteen  years 
previous  to  her  removal  to  Middlebury,  Vt.,  Miss  Higley 
occupied  various  spheres  as  a  teacher,  both  in  the  Southern  and 
Middle  States.  Acquainted  with  life  in  its  various  phases,  she 
has  done  much  by  her  wide  experience  and  thoroughness  of  pur- 
pose for  the  advancement  of  the  young,  uplifting  many  a  life  to 
an  elevated  plane,  and  making  it  of  greater  value. 

But  music  was  Miss  Higley's  natural  gift.  From  an  early  age 
it  was  her  genius.  In  this  science  she  has  attained  a  high  degree 
of  excellence,  in  which  her  pleasant  and  agreeable  disposition 
has  proved  a  valuable  factor  in  her  calling. 

The  proof  of  her  well  attested  merits  is  shown  by  the  fact 
that  she  occupied  the  position  of  instructor  of  vocal  music 
in  the  Middlebury,  Vt.,  public  schools  for  twenty  successive 


years — from  1871.  We  have  no  hesitation  in  stating  that  her 
name  will  exercise  a  lasting  influence  upon  her  music-loving 

Nothing  in  this  connection  of  her  life  is  more  pleasing  to 
observe  than  the  marked  and  deferential  love  which  the  young 
people  and  children,  especially  her  boy  pupils  approaching  man- 
hood, greet  her  as  she  walks  about  the  town. 

The  town  of  Middlebury,  Vt.,  has  been  her  permanent  home 
for  the  past  ten  years.  Soon  after  her  father's  decease  in  1878, 
she  purchased  here  a  pleasant  cottage  home,  where  she  has  made 
gardening  and  fruit-raising  somewhat  of  a  study,  and  where  she 
is  the  companion  of  her  aged  mother. 

For  several  years,  amid  the  daily  pressure  of  her  profession 
and  cares,  she  engaged  in  collecting  a  quantity  of  genealogical 
material  which  has  been  cheerfully  contributed  to,  and  proved  of 
much  value  in  the  compilation  of  this  work,  in  connection  with  her 
own  branch  of  the  Higley  Family;  she  has  also  been  one  of  the 
leading  movers  in  founding  a  subscription  library  in  the  town,  to 
which  she  devotes  much  of  her  time  and  personal  attention. 

She  became  a  member  of  the  Hawthorne  Club  in  1879,  a 
literary  society  whose  membership  comprises  the  best  talent  and 
culture  of  the  village,  together  with  members  of  the  faculty  of 
Middlebury  College.  Miss  Higley  possesses  a  heart  full  of  gener- 
ous impulses  and  human  tenderness,  and  in  her  nature  there  is 
an  unfailing  fountain  of  juvenility  and  good  spirits,  with  a  strong 
sense  of  humor. 

It  was  in  1851  that  she  enrolled  herself  among  the  list  of 
members  of  the  church  home, — the  First  Congregational  Church 
of  Castleton, — where  for  four  generations,  since  1793,  the  Higley 
Family  of  that  town  have  helped  most  efficiently  to  make  the 
church  a  power  for  good. 

LEAVITT  NELSON  HIGLEY,  the  second  child  of  the  Rev.  Hervey 
O.  and  Sarah  Gerrish  (Little)  Higley,  was  born  September  19, 
1836,  and  died  November  26,  1837. 

HENRY  POST  HIGLEY,  A.  M.,  D.  D.,  the  third  child  and  eldest 
surviving  son  of  the  Rev.  Hervey  Owen  and  Sarah  G.  (Little) 
Higley,  was  born  at  Castleton,  Vt.,  February  i,  1839.  His 
earliest  associations  were  with  scholarly  people,  and  he  undoubt- 
edly inherited  impulses  for  study.  He  was  prepared  for  college  at 
the  long-useful  and  still  efficient  Castleton  Seminary,  from  which  he 
was  graduated  at  seventeen;  in  the  meanwhile,  without  neglecting 


his  studies,  he  was  taught  to  be  industrious  in  season  and  out 
of  season,  learning  to  perform  the  detail  of  out-of-door  work 
promptly  and  efficiently.  In  his  response  to  an  after-dinner 
toast  at  the  Castleton  school  centennial  some  years  later  in 
life,  he  remarked:  "I  owe  more  than  some  who  have  preceded 
me  to  Castleton  schooling,  for  I  took  lessons  in  open-air  elo- 
cution on  yonder  side  hill,  driving  oxen.  That  picture,  to  the 
southeast,  framed  between  these  two  maples,  showing  just  where 
the  wood-road  enters  the  timber,  reminds  me  what  great  shouts 
it  took  to  get  safely  down  that  hill." 

His  out-of-door  exercise  bore  good  fruit  in  developing  a  fine 
physique,  mental  vigor,  and  a  strong  constitution,  giving  him  also 
a  large  and  broad  comprehension  of  the  real  affairs  of  life,  which 
proved  valuable  toward  his  marked  success  in  his  future  calling. 

In  due  course  of  time  young  Higley  entered  Middlebury  Col- 
lege, taking  the  entire  course,  and  was  graduated  in  1860;  and  in 
1865  he  was  graduated  from  the  Auburn  Theological  Seminary, 
Auburn,  N.  Y. 

On  the  completion  of  his  theological  studies  he  was  asked  to 
supply  temporarily  the  then  vacant  pulpit  of  the  Second  Con- 
gregational Church  at  Beloit,  Wis.  It  was  not  long  before  the 
church  recognized  in  its  temporary  supply  the  man  qualified 
to  become  her  permanent  pastor,  and  accordingly  measures  were 
adopted  which  terminated  in  his  installation  the  following  year, 
1866.  During  the  interval  he  accepted  for  a  few  months  a  small 
charge  at  Vevay,  Ind. 

On  the  25th  of  July,  1866,  he  married  Lillie  Maria  Condit 
of  Auburn,  N.  Y.,  daughter  of  the  Rev.  Dr.  Condit,  who  was  at 
one  time  pastor  at  Longmeadow,  Mass.,  afterward  professor  of 
rhetoric  at  Amherst,  and  later  professor  in  the  Auburn  Theo- 
logical Seminary.  Miss  Condit  was  born  July  29,  1837.  She 
inherited  the  peculiar  charm  of  native  grace  and  gentleness 
which  was  a  chief  characteristic  of  her  honored  father's  life. 
Gifted  with  wisdom,  tact,  and  sympathy,  she  was  a  true  "help- 
meet" in  Dr.  Higley's  peculiar  sphere  of  usefulness — "a  model 
wife  of  a  model  pastor." 

By  the  favor  of  Middlebury  College,  Henry  Post  Higley,  M.  A., 
received  the  degree  of  D.  D.  in  1886. 

Dr.  Higley  remained  in  the  pastorate  of  the  Second  Congrega- 
tional Church  at  Beloit  twenty-five  years.  The  small  member- 
ship of  90  which  gave  him  an  earnest  welcome  in  1866  increased 


and  grew.  The  church  building  was  of  necessity  twice  enlarged, 
and  at  the  close  of  his  pastorate,  of  the  633  he  had  received  into 
membership,  420  were  on  profession  of  faith,  many  of  whom  Dr. 
Higley  had  baptized.  To  this  number  might  be  added  a  large 
number  of  persons  who  regularly  attended  divine  services,  but 
who  did  not  enter  the  communion. 

Dr.  Higley's  public  teaching  was  Biblical,  meeting  the  purpose 
of  life  :  it  was  clear,  earnest,  effective,  and  to  the  heart.  The 
result  was  life  and  vitality  in  the  church. 

His  influence  outside  the  parish  was  most  valuable.  In  Beloit 
few  ministers  had  so  many  outside  calls  upon  their  time  and  sym- 
pathy. He  was  on  the  side  of  every  good  cause,  and  while  he,  in 
some  cases,  maintained  an  active  and  armed  protest  against 
virulent  forms  of  evil,  he  preserved  the  love  and  respect  of  his 

Dr.  Higley  was  a  stanch  friend  and  supporter  of  Beloit  Col- 
lege. His  educational  impulses  enabled  him  to  enter  with  keen 
interest  into  its  development  and  prosperity,  serving  as  a  member 
of  the  board  of  trustees  for  eighteen  years,  and  much  of  that 
time  being  the  secretary.  His  loyalty  to  the  college  was  only 
equaled  by  his  loyalty  to  his  church;  his  deep  interest  was  never 
found  wanting,  and  his  wise  counsels  and  words  of  advice  will  ever 
prove  to  have  been  of  substantial  value  to  the  institution. 

His  association  and  influence  with  the  Wisconsin  Congrega- 
tional Union,  in  the  proceedings  of  which  he  was  an  active  and 
valuable  member,  will  remain  among  the  pleasant  memories  of  his 

There  was  a  strange  commingling  of  joy  and  unfeigned  sorrow 
in  the  hearts  of  his  parishioners,  as  well  as  in  the  hearts  of  his  fel- 
low-citizens, on  the  approach  of  the  two  silver  anniversaries, — 
June  10,  1891 — the  quarter  of  a  century  of  Dr.  Higley's  pastor- 
ate, and  July  26,  1891 — the  twenty-fifth  anniversary  of  the  mar- 
riage of  Dr.  and  Mrs.  Higley;  both  dates  coming  near  each  other. 
Because  of  Mrs.  Higley's  enfeebled  state  of  health,  he  had, 
after  much  serious  deliberation,  decided  that  he  was  compelled 
to  relinquish  his  charge  and  seek  a  more  congenial  climate, 
hoping  for  her  restoration. 

Among  the  social  events  that  had  occurred  in  Beloit  the  last 
twenty-five  years,  none  exceeded  in  interest  the  banquet  which 
celebrated  the  joyful,  yet  sorrowful,  occasion.  It  was  a  social 
gathering  in  its  truest  sense — a  church  family  gathering.  With 


Dr.  Higley's  own  parishioners  came  many  invited  guests  from  far 
and  near,  including  clergyman  and  their  wives,  and  honored  men 
from  other  cities.  The  festive  event  was  made  all  that  perfect 
arrangements  and  extensive  provision,  with  excellent  manage- 
ment, coupled  with  sincere  affection  for  the  pastor  and  his  wife, 
could  make  it. 

It  was  a  happy  moment  to  the  friends  of  Dr.  and  Mrs.  Higley 
when  they  could  congratulate  them  on  their  silver  marriage  anni- 
versary, and  wish  them  many  happy  returns  of  the  event,  but 
there  was  genuine  sorrow  that  the  hour  of  "  good-by  "  had  come, 
when  they  should  leave  the  church  and  city  where  they  were  so 
much  loved.  At  the  close  of  a  long  and  interesting  programme 
of  proceedings  which  extended  far  into  the  night,  a  member  of 
the  board  of  trustees,  stepping  forward  with  a  bag  containing 
a  goodly  quantity  of  silver  coin,  said  in  part  :  "I  have  the 
pleasure,  dear  pastor,  in  behalf  of  this  church  and  society  to 
hand  to  you  this  our  united  tribute  of  affectionate  regard.  We 
ask  you  to  accept  it  not  because  it  measures  our  love  and  esteem 
for  you,  but  because  it  is  a  tribute  made  up  from  the  dimes,  the 
quarters,  the  halves,  and  the  dollars  of  those  who  will  ever  hold 
you  in  kindly  remembrance.  It  comes  from  the  aged,  the 
middle-aged,  the  youth,  the  boys  and  girls,  and  our  infant  class, 
together  with  those  who  have  gone  from  our  midst.  The  band 
then  struck  up  : 

"  God  be  with  you  till  we  meet  again." 

Dr.  Higley  responded  in  a  few  appropriate  remarks,  and  with 
much  feeling  dismissed  the  large  company  with  his  benediction. 

Dr.  and  Mrs.  Higley  are  sojourning  at  present  (1893),  in  the 
salubrious  climate  of  Southern  California.  They  have  no 

PROFESSOR  EDWIN  HALL  HIGLEY,  A.  B.,  A.  M.,  the  fourth 
child  of  Hervey  Owen  and  Sarah  G.  (Little)  Higley,  was  born  at 
Castleton,  Vt,  February  15,  1843.  He  received  his  name  in 
honor  of  his  father's  friend,  Professor  Edwin  Hall.  After  the 
usual  common  school  course,  he  was  sent  to  the  Castleton  Seminary 
in  1856,  under  the  administration  of  the  Rev.  E.  J.  Halleck. 
Among  his  instructors  were  the  Rev.  Stephen  Knowlton  and  Mr. 
Watts,  men  whose  exact  scholarship  and  personal  interest  in  their 
pupil  left  an  abiding  influence. 

In  1858  he  became  a  member  of  the  Castleton  Congregational 



Church.  He  entered  Middlebury,  Vt,  College,  September,  1860; 
but  inspired  by  a  noble  patriotism,  when  the  trumpet  note  of  battle 
sounded  the  following  year,  on  the  breaking  out  of  the  Civil  War, 
he  withdrew  from  his  studies  while  a  sophomore  and  enlisted. 

At  a  farewell  dinner  given  by  his  classmates  at  the  Addison 
House  on  the  ad  of  October,  1861,  in  honor  of  the  departure  of 
Mr.  Higley  and  his  two  comrades,  John  Williamson  and  H.  D. 
Smith,  for  the  field  of  contest,  in  reply  to  a  parting  address,  Mr. 
Higley  said  in  part:  "Classmates,  there  is  a  divinity  which  shapes 
our  ends.  I  think  there  is  more  work  for  me  to  do  after  the  war 
is  over  ;  I  do  not  go  with  the  expectation  of  never  coming  back. 
I  rely  on  God;  if  he  wills  that  I  survive  the  conflict,  well;  if  not, 
'tis  well — I  am  ready  to  die.  If  any  praise  is  due  for  this  act  of 
mine,  give  it  not  all  to  me;  my  mother  deserves  it.  Listen  to  the 
letter  she  sent  me.  She  says  : 

"  '  I  have  a  good  deal  of  sympathy,  my  son,  with  your  feeling  that  fifty  years  hence 
you  will  be  ashamed  to  say  that  neither  of  my  three  sons  lifted  a  finger  in  the  hour 
of  our  country's  peril.  Though  you  know  very  little  of  the  hardships  before  you, 
doubtless  you  can  bear  them  as  well  as  others.  If  you  feel  it  your  duty  to  go,  I 
should  be  sorry  to  stand  in  your  way  ;  Go,  and  may  God  bless  youy  keep  you,  and 
bring  you  safely  back — but  especially  may  you  be  kept  from  the  evil  influences 
around  you,  and  may  you  never  allow  a  spirit  of  revenge  to  dwell  for  a  moment  in 
your  breast.' 

"I  go,  classmates,"  said  Higley,  "feeling  that  I  am  attended 
by  my  mother's  blessing." 

He  was  mustered  into  service  with  the  ist  Regiment,  Vermont 
Cavalry,  November  19,  1861,  a  regiment  made  up  almost  entirely 
of  native  Vermonters.  The  regiment  attained  a  notable  history, 
fully  deserving  the  encomiums  it  received,  and  sustaining  the 
characteristics  of  the  Vermonters  pointed  out  in  the  old-time 

"  Vermont  is  famous  for  men 
And  women,  and  horses,  and  sugar. 
The  first  are  strong,  the  third  are  fleet, 
The  second  and  fourth  exceedingly  sweet, 
And  all  exceedingly  hard  to  beat." 

Edwin  Hall  Higley  was  elected  orderly  sergeant  of  Company 
R  at  the  outset.  He  was  early  promoted  to  the  rank  of  lieu- 
tenant, and  later  on  received  his  commission  as  captain.  He  was 
finally  breveted  major  of  his  regiment  for  meritorious  conduct. 

He  took  part  in  many  battles  and  finally  found  himself  a  prisoner 


of  war  incarcerated  in  the  famous  Libby  Prison  at  Richmond,  Va. 
Of  his  direful  experiences  here  during  nine  weary  months,  dragged 
out  through  almost  hopeless  days,  little  will  be  learned  from  these 
pages,  interesting  as  the  narrative  would  prove  to  be.  The  dark 
battle-cloud  then  covering  this  nation  has  fully  cleared.  Heaven's 
descending  dew  of  peace  and  reconciliation  has  fallen  upon  every 
section  of  our  country — fallen  alike  upon  the  "  Blue  and  the  Gray, " 
all  having  taken  hands  again  in  fraternal  union  and  expressions 
of  sympathy  between  the  victors  and  the  vanquished  ;  and 
Professor  Higley,  true  to  the  wise  admonitions  of  his  beloved 
mother,  "  never  to  allow  a  spirit  of  revenge  to  dwell  for  a  moment 
in  his  breast,"  bears  no  ignoble  prejudice  or  bitterness  in  his 
memory  of  the  scenes  in  Southern  prison  life — he  will  not  nar- 
rate them. 

After  having  taken  honorable  part  in  the  entire  campaign  of 
the  war,  he  was  mustered  out  of  service,  May,  1865.  He  re-entered 
Middlebury  College  the  same  year,  from  which  he  was  graduated 
in  1868. 

Immediately  after  completing  his  college  course,  he  became  a 
teacher  at  Charlestown,  Mass.,  where  he  continued  till  1872,  and 
during  this  period,  on  the  2d  of  June,  1870,  he  married  Jane 
Shepard  Turner  of  Middlebury.  She  was  born  February  12, 


In  1872  he  became  a  member  of  the  faculty  of  Middlebury 
College,  Professor  of  Greek  and  German,  remaining  in  this 
position  till  1882,  when  he  went  to  Leipsic,  Germany,  where  for 
three  years  he  added  to  his  earlier  achievements  in  his  knowl- 
edge of  language.  Returning  to  the  United  States  in  1885, 
Professor  Higley  was  appointed  Master  of  Greek  and  German  in 
Groton  School,  near  Worcester,  Mass.,  which  position  he  con- 
tinues acceptably  to  fill  (1895),  taking  rank  as  a  superior 

In  recognition  of  his  scholarly  attainments,  Middlebury 
College,  in  1871,  conferred  upon  him  the  degree  of  Master  of 

Professor  Higley  has  devoted  himself  to  a  very  considerable 
degree  to  music,  enjoying  a  high  reputation  among  those  possess- 
ing unusual  attainments. 

Music  is  in  him.  Among  the  Americans  who  have  won  honors 
in  Germany  his  composition  has  excited  favorable  attention. 
For  a  number  of  years  he  performed  on  the  organ  during  the 


services  in  the  church  at  Castleton,  and  for  many  years  was  the 
organist  and  musical  director  of  the  Central  Church  in  Worcester, 

It  was  a  high  day  in  Castleton,  Vt.,  June  7,  1884,  when  on  the 
completion  of  a  century  of  church  life  the  First  Congregational 
Church  of  that  town  celebrated  the  epoch. 

For  four  generations,  since  Deacon  Brewster  Higley,  3d,  became 
associated  with  the  founding  of  the  church  in  1793,  the  Higley 
family  had  been  represented  in  its  board  of  deacons.  Brewster 
Higley,  3d,  was  the  second  deacon  elected;  his  son  Judge  Erastus 
Higley  was  for  twenty-seven  years,  from  1834  to  1861,  an  officer 
of  the  church,  and  from  1847  to  1878,  Hervey,  the  son  of  Judge 
Erastus,  served  as  deacon;  then  the  mantle  fell  upon  the  youngest 
son  of  Hervey,  Alfred  Higley  of  the  present  generation. 

For  this  most  interesting  occasion,  Professor  Edwin  Hall 
Higley  composed  the  following  centennial  hymn  with  the 
music,  which  was  sung  by  both  choir  and  congregation,  and 
afterward  published  for  preservation  in  the  Historical  Com- 
memoration Proceedings.  On  announcing  the  hymn,  the  presid- 
ing member  "counted  it  most  fortunate  that  a  son  of  the  church 
was  moved  to  be  the  psalmist  of  the  occasion." 

"  In  vain  the  watchman  waketh, 

And  keepeth  constant  ward. 
Unless  Jehovah  taketh 

The  city  in  his  guard. 
This  lesson  from  the  Psalter 

Our  fathers  heeded  well, 
And  built  to  God  an  altar 

When  here  they  came  to  dwell. 

"  Here  'midst  the  forest's  rudeness 

Amid  the  eternal  hills 
They  joined  to  bless  the  goodness 

Of  Him  who  all  things  fills. 
The  voice  of  exhortation, 

Of  prayer  and  praise  was  heard. 
They  laid  their  homes'  foundations 

Upon  God's  Holy  Word. 

"  Thou  whom  the  Fathers  trusted, 

Still  for  their  children  care  ! 
Their  armor  yet  unrusted 
May  we  with  courage  wear  ! 



O  may  we  never  falter 

To  face  the  self-same  foe, 
With  those  who  built  this  altar 

A  hundred  years  ago  !  " 

Professor  Higley  was  called  to  preside  over  the  after-dinner 
exercises,  which,  on  calling  the  gathering  to  order,  he  opened  by 
a  happy  speech. 

During  the  reminiscences  given,  the  fact  was  brought  out  that 
forty  years  before  (1844)  the  Sunday  school  was  marched  as 
a  cold  water  army,  with  badges  and  banners,  from  the  church  to 
seats  and  a  collation  under  Judge  Higley's  wide-spreading  butter- 
nut trees;  the  badges  bearing  the  words:  "Here  we  pledge  per- 
petual hate  to  all  that  can  intoxicate."  An  immense  roll  of 
signatures  to  the  temperance  pledge  was  'displayed  in  the  show 
window  of  a  jewelry  store  in  the  town. 

At  the  general  reunion  of  the  Higley  Family  at  Simsbury, 
Conn.,  August,  1890,  Professor  Edwin  Hall  Higley  added  much 
to  the  pleasurable  success  of  the  occasion  by  his  power  in  music, 
as  well  as  by  an  interesting  historical  paper  he  furnished. 

In  person  he  is  tall,  robust,  of  fine  physique,  with  a  face  glow- 
ing with  genial  feeling,  and  possessing  a  fine  sense  of  humor,  yet 
unassuming  and  retiring,  seeking  no  public  honors,  and  prone  to 
hide  his  gifts. 

ALFRED  ERASTUS  HIGLEY,  the  fifth  child  and  youngest  son  of 
Hervey  O.  and  Sarah  G.  (Little)  Higley,  was  born  September  26, 
1844,  at  Castleton,  Vt.  His  early  schooldays  were  spent  in  his 
native  town.  At  sixteen  he  went  to  the  Castleton  Academy, 
which,  he  declared  in  an  after-dinner  speech  at  the  school  cen- 
tennial, August  10,  1887,  "were  golden  days — when  he  serenaded 
the  girls  and  climbed  the  balconies,  and  was  under  the  instruc- 
tion of  the  best  and  strongest  teachers  of  his  time."  To  his 
principal,  Miss  Harriet  N.  Haskell,  he  paid  a  happy  tribute  of 
respect,  speaking  of  her  as  "  his  ideal  teacher." 

At  this  school,  which  he  entered  in  1860,  and  from  which  he 
was  graduated  1864,  he  was  fitted  for  college. 

He  then  entered  Middlebury  College  and  was  graduated  in  the 
class  of  1868. 

On  the  7th  of  April,  1869,  he  married  Jane  Anne  Van  Vleet,  a 
lady  of  bright  attainments  and  attractive  manner,  who  was  also  a 
pupil  at  the  Castleton  Seminary.  She  was  born  June  22,  1848. 

To  Alfred  Erastus  fell  in  succession  the  Higley  homestead  at 


Castleton,  of  which  he  took  charge  in  1868,  and  where  he  re- 
sided with  his  family  till  the  year  1886.  Following  in  the  foot- 
steps of  his  father  of  forty  years  before  (1839-46),  he  was 
made  a  member  of  the  Board  of  Trustees  of  Castleton  Seminary, 
1885  ;  and  also  was  his  father's  successor  as  deacon  in  the  Castle- 
ton church,  being,  as  has  been  stated,  of  the  fourth  generation  of 
Higleys  which  have  served  in  this  official  relation,  taking  an  un- 
flagging interest  in  the  church's  prosperity  and  workings  since  its 
early  organization.  On  that  memorable  historic  occasion — the 
one-hundredth  anniversary  of  this  church,  he  rendered  efficient 
service  on  the  committee  of  arrangements. 

In  1886  he  removed  with  his  family  to  Benson,  Vt.,  remaining 
till  the  year  1890,  his  practical  farming  proving  an  excellent 
proof  that  a  college  education  does  not  unfit  a  man  for  becom- 
ing a  thoroughly  capable  agriculturist.  Indeed,  Mr.  Higley  gave 
evidence  in  this  special  vocation- of  the  .value  of  a  trained  mind. 
For  several  years  he  turned  his  attention  particularly  to  raising 
high-blooded  stock. 

In  1891  he  received  an  appointment  to  the  United  States  Ar- 
senal at  Watertown,  Mass.,  where  he  was  engaged  for  some 
time.  Later  on  he  built  an  attractive  residence  near  his  mother 
in  Middlebury,  Vt,  where  he  now  resides  (1895). 

Mr.  Higley  is  of  fine  personal  character,  has  a  genial  tempera- 
ment, and  full  of  excellent  qualities  of  mind  and  heart.  Alfred 
Erastus  and  Jennie  Van  Vleet  Higley  are  the  parents  of  two 
children,  viz.:  Edna  Van  Vleet  Higley,  born  July  18,  1872  ;  Mary 
Gerrish  Higley,  born  March  2,  1874. 

EDNA,  the  eldest,  was  graduated,  1890,  from  the  Castleton,  Vt.,  State  Normal 
School.  After  pursuing  three  years  of  musical  study  in  the  New  England  Con- 
servatory in  Boston,  from  which  she  was  graduated,  she  continued  for  two  years 
her  violin  study  in  Berlin.  The  "  glory  of  the  music  "  which  she  produces  from 
her  favorite  instrument,  since  the  pursuit  of  her  study  abroad,  ranks  her  among  those 
who  have  attained  very  high  excellence,  and  cannot  fail  to  distinguish  her  future  in 
the  musical  world. 

MARY,  the  youngest  daughter,  was  graduated  from  the  State  Normal  School  in 
Castleton,  Vt.,  spent  three  years  at  the  Loring  School,  Chicago,  and  entered 
Middlebury  College,  Middlebury,  Vt.,  '94.  She  is  taking  the  full  college  course. 



Continued  from  chapter  xxxi,  p.  171. 
Esther,  Brewster,  3d,  Biewster,  2d,  Brewster,  ist,  Captain  John  Higley. 

ESTHER,  the  sixth  child  of  Brewster  Higley,  3d,  was  born  July 
29,  1775,  and  on  Thanksgiving  Day,  November  20,  1797,  married 
Sylvanus  Guernsey,  the  Rev.  Lemuel  Haynes  of  West  Rutland 
officiating.  The  elder  daughters  of  the  family  had  all  had  the 
marriage  ceremony  performed  by  their  father,  Deacon  Brewster 
Higley,  3d.  Erastus  Higley  and  Esther  Ann  Guernsey  were 
"best  man"  and  bridesmaid.  After  the  wedding  ceremony  was 
over  and  the  festivities  were  near  closing,  the  bride  and  brides- 
maid, who  had  long  been  bosom  friends,  wished  a  little  private 
chat  together.  The  house  was  full,  and  the  weather  too  cold  for 
muslin-robed  lassies  to«6tand  outside  the  door.  So  they  cuddled 
among  the  wraps  in  a  sleigh  standing  with  the  horses  hitched 
near  the  door.  Dr.  Gridley's  sharp  eyes  noticing  their  move- 
ments, he  quickly  loosed  the  hitching  strap,  sprang  into  the 
sleigh,  seized  the  lines  and  drove  the  team  to  Landlord  Moulton's 
Inn,  some  two  miles  away,  where  he  traded  the  young  ladies  for  a 
mug  of  cider.  The  discovery,  pursuit,  and  bringing  them  back, 
which  created  great  merriment,  were  not  long  delayed,  and  no 
ill-will  was  entertained  against  the  joke-loving  doctor. 

Esther's  daughter,  Mrs.  Zeruah  Caswell,  who  is  now  living, 
says  that  her  grandfather,  Brewster,  3d,  walked  to  Hartford 
and  purchased  for  Esther  a  brass  kettle,  a  silk  dress,  and  white 
muslin  for  her  bridal  trousseau.  For  both  Esther  and  lola  he 
purchased  red  broadcloth  cloaks  trimmed  with  "  thag." 

ZERUAH  CASWELL,  daughter  of  Esther  (Higley)  Guernsey,  was  born  October  31, 
1805.  She  is  the  only  survivor  of  her  generation,  and  is  now  a  resident  of  Castle- 
ton,  Vt.,  where  the  main  part  of  her  life  has  been  spent.  She  was  one  of  six 
grandchildren  of  Brewster  Higley,  3d,  who  were  all  born  the  same  season  and 
brought  home  at  Thanksgiving,  During  the  family  gathering  the  six  babies  were 
placed  upon  a  blanket  which  was  spread  upon  the  floor  in  front  of  the  grandmother 
as  she  sat  in  her  great  armchair,  to  the  great  delight  and  admiration  of  all  present. 

Zeruah  married  Memri  Caswell  of  Middletown,  Vt.,  March  5,  1846,  and  has 
lived  to  a  bright  old  age, — ninety  years, — a  woman  of  strong  character  and  rare 
ability,  a  most  interesting  link  with  the  long  past.  Throughout  her  life  she  has 
been  greatly  beloved  by  her  kindred  and  friends ;  she  still  superintends  her  house- 
hold affairs,  and  retains  her  memory  and  lively  faculties  to  a  very  remarkable  degree. 

A  pleasant  reminiscence  in  connection  with  her  younger  days  is  told  of  the  first 


Sunday  school  held  in  Castleton.  This  was  in  the  year  1819,  and  on  "  Frisby 
Hill,"  held  in  a  little,  old-fashioned,  unpainted  schoolhouse.  "  The  two  young 
girls,  Zilpah  and  Esther  Ann  Higley,  having  read  about  the  Sunday  school  started 
by  Robert  Raikes  in  England,  talked  with  their  schoolmates  and  begged  the  con- 
sent of  their  parents  to  the  plan  of  starting  one  in  the  schoolhouse  on  the  hill. 
Having  obtained  the  permission  they  sought,  and  promises  from  the  boys  and  girls 
in  the  district  to  be  present,  they  made  an  urgent  request  to  Miss  Margaret  Merrill, 
who  was  teacher  of  the  day  school,  to  be  also  the  teacher  of  the  new  Sunday  school. 

Mrs.  Caswell,  who  was  one  of  the  youngest  of  the  children,  well  remembered 
how  the  young  teacher  knelt  upon  the  bare  floor  to  ask  God's  blessing  upon  this 
first  Sunday  school  in  Castleton.  The  lesson  given  the  scholars  was  the  first  ten 
verses  of  the  first  chapter  in  Genesis,  to  be  perfectly  learned  and  repeated  to  Miss 
Merrill  at  the  close  of  one  hour. 

Weeks  passed,  and  the  news  of  the  little  Sunday  school  on  "  Frisby  Hill  "  spread 
among  the  children  in  the  schools  of  the  other  districts,  and  soon  other  Sunday 
schools  were  born.  The  good  work  went  quietly  on  in  the  little  schoolhouses  here 
and  there,  till  the  pastor  of  the  Congregational  Church  in  the  village  thought  it 
time  to  organize  a  Sunday  school  in  connection  with  the  church  ;  he  therefore 
visited  all  the  schools  in  the  out-districts  and  invited  them  to  unite  in  one  to  be  held 
in  the  town  academy.  One  hundred  and  fifty  children  gathered,  not  one  over 
twenty-one  being  found  among  the  number.  In  1821  it  was  decided  to  remove  the 
school  to  the  church  building,  where  it  has  now  remained  for  seventy-four  years,  the 
nursery  of  the  church. 

Esther  (Higley)  Guernsey  died  at  Castleton,  Vt.,  May  7,  1831.  Her  hus- 
band, Sylvanus  Guernsey,  died  April  3,  18 — ,  aged  eighty-eight  years.  They  had 
four  children,  viz.  : 

Soloman  Kasson,  Horace  Roots,  Calvin  Owen,  and  Zeruah. 

SOLOMON  K.  was  born  September,  1798,  and  died  May  6,  1821.  ZERUAH,  as 
before  stated,  was  born  October  31,  1805,  and  is  still  living  (1895). 

SARAH  GUERNSEY,  daughter  of  Calvin,  is  now  (1895)  filling  an  important  posi- 
tion in  the  missionary  field  in  the  Indian  Territory.  Except  her  aged  aunt  she  is 
the  only  descendant  of  this  branch  of  the  family. 

TOLA,  the  seventh  of  Brewster  Higley,  3d's,  children,  was  born 
May  i,  1778.  She  married  Deacon  William  Denison  of  Lyme, 
Conn.,  on  the  25th  of  March,  1800.  They  resided  at  West  Rut- 
land, Vt.  Their  children  were :  Eliza,  who  married  Henry 
Post  ;  Fanny,  who  married  John  F.  Duncan  ;  lola,  who  married 
Hoyt  Guernsey;  and  William  Cowper,  Francis  Le  Count,  Edward 
Higley,  and  Mary. 

Their  youngest  daughter,  Mary,  married  the  Rev.  Horace  Ly- 
man,  and  went  to  Oregon  in  the  early  history  of  that  Territory, 
while  it  was  yet  little  known,  and  when  it  was  reached  only  by 
ships  passing  around  Cape  Horn. 

Mrs.  lola  (Higley)  Denison  died  March  26,  1821. 


HARLEY,  the  eighth  daughter  of  Brewster  Higley,  3d,  was 
born  October  9,  1781.  She  married  Jared  Porter,  son  of  the 
Hon.  Thomas  Porter  of  Tinmouth,  Vt,  on  the  8th  of  June, 
1804.  They  settled  in  Tinmouth,  where  their  children  were  all 
born,  and  where  they  resided  until  August,  1831,  when  they 
joined  their  children,  who  had  removed  that  year  to  Redford, 
Wayne  County,  Mich. 

Mrs.  Harley  (Higley)  Porter  died  at  the  residence  of  her 
eldest  son  at  the  above  place,  October  16,  1831,  aged  fifty  years. 

Her  husband,  Jared  Porter,  died  in  Wilmington,  Del.,  May  2, 
1837,  aged  fifty-six  years  and  five  months.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Porter 
had  three  children,  viz. : 

Zachariah,  born  June  4,  1805  ;  Thomas  Rodney,  born  January  3, 
1810  ;  Brewster  Higley  Porter,  born  January  2,  1820. 

The  latter  now  resides  in  Indiana. 

Professor  Edward  D.  Porter,  son  of  Zachariah,  and  grandson  of 
Mrs.  Harley  (Higley)  Porter,  is  Dean  of  the  College  of  Agricul- 
ture of  the  University  of  Missouri,  and  resides  at  Columbia,  Mo. 

ZERUAH,  the  youngest  child  of  Brewster  Higley,  3d,  born  Au- 
gust 18,  1784,  married  Ebenezer  Cross  January  i,  1812.  They 
removed  to  Oxford,  O.,  September,  1817,  with  their  three  daugh- 
ters. Their  three  sons  were  born  after  their  removal  to  that 
State.  Their  children  were  : 

Eliza,  Maria,  Laura,  Owen,  Kasson,  and  Ebenezer. 

Zeruah  Higley  Cross  died  at  Marion,  Ind.,  September  24,  1854. 



Brewster  Higley,  sth,   Brewster,  4th,  Brewster  3d,  Brewster,  2d,   Brewster,  ist,   Capt.   John 

Continued  from  page  241. 

But  who  is  this  by  the  half  opened  door, 
Whose  figure  casts  a  shadow  on  the  floor  ? 


BREWSTER  HIGLEY,  5th,  was  born  in  Castleton,  Vt.,  March  30, 
1784,  and  emigrated  with  his  parents  to  Ohio  when  he  was  thir- 
teen years  of  age.  In  1805  he  returned  to  his  native  State  to 
attend  school,  and  remained  two  years.  He  performed  this  jour- 
ney the  entire  distance  afoot.  Just  as  he  was  leaving  his  home 
on  the  long  and  lonely  pilgrimage,  he  provided  himself,  from  a 
forest  tree  near  at  hand,  with  a  stout  cane,  upon  which  he  notched 
the  height  of  each  child  of  the  household.  This  cane  has  been 
preserved,  and  is  now  in  the  hands  of  Alfred  E.  Higley,  Esq., 
of  Middlebury,  Vt,  a  descendant  of  his  grandfather,  Brewster 
Higley,  3d. 

In  1814  he  married  Achsah  Evarts  of  Rutland,  O.,  where  *hey 
settled.  Here  their  three  children  were  born,  viz. : 

Louisa,  Zeruah,  and  Brewster  Higley ',  6th. 

Brewster  Higley,  5th,  died  August  19,  1823,  aged  39  years.  He 
was  interred  in  the  Family  burial-ground  on  the  old  home  farm 
at  Rutland,  O. 

His  wife  removed  with  her  children  to  Dunlapsville,  Union 
County,  Ind.,  and  resided  with  her  brother,  Dr.  Sylvanus  Everts. 
She  died  in  1828. 

Her  two  youngest  children  were  taken  back  to  Rutland,  O.,  to 
their  kind  and  generous  grandparents. 


LOUISA,  the  eldest  child  of  Brewster  Higley,  5th,  and  his  wife, 
Achsah  Everts,  was  born  March  16,  1815,  and  in  1833  married 
Dr.  Robert  Cogley  of  Dunlapsville,  Ind. 

Her  second  marriage  was  to  John  F.  Allinson,  a  merchant  of 



Union  Mills,  Ind.,  who  died  in  1857  in  Irvington,  la.,  where 
they  then  resided.  Mrs.  Cogley  became  a  student  of  medicine 
and  received  a  medical  diploma.  She  practiced  her  profession 
successfully  for  several  years  in  Wichita,  Kans.,  where  she  lived 
the  last  fifteen  years  of  her  life.  She  died  December  5,  1887. 

She  was  the  mother  of  six  children,  two  of  whom  by  her  first 
marriage  are  living,  and  one  by  the  second. 

THOMAS  S.  COGLEY,  her  eldest  son,  is  a  practicing  lawyer,  residing  in  Washington, 
D.  C.  He  joined  the  forces  in  the  late  Civil  War,  serving  as  orderly  sergeant  in 
the  2gth  Regiment  Indiana  Volunteers,  General  Buell  commanding. 

MARY  JANE  COGLEY,  daughter  of  Dr.  Robert  and  Louisa  (Higley)  Cogley, 
was  born  in  Rutland,  O.,  in  1845.  She  married,  December,  8,  1864,  George  D. 
Ewing  of  La  Port,  Ind.,  where  she  resided  many  years.  Mr.  Ewing  is  a  photog- 
rapher by  profession.  They  now  reside  in  Walkerton,  St.  Joseph  County,  Ind. 
They  were  the  parents  of  six  children,  three  of  whom  are  living,  viz.  : 

Lydepham,  born  December,  29,  1868,  who  is  in  mercantile  pursuits,  residing  in 
Winamac,  Ind.  ;  Maud,  born  April  25,  1874,  who  is  preparing  herself  as  a 
teacher  of  the  piano  ;  and  Earl,  born  May  8,  1880. 

CHARLES  R.  ALLINSON,  her  youngest  child,  born  in  1854,  of  the  second  marriage, 
resides  in  Van  Buren,  Ark. 

Zeruah,  the  second  child  of  Brewster  Higley,  5th,  was  born  at 
Rutland,  O.,  August  26,  1817.  She  married  James  E.  Sanderson 
September  17,  1835,  witn  whom  she  lived  nearly  thirty  years, 
until  her  husband  was  removed  by  death,  May  8,  1865.  He  was 
interred  at  Bremen,  Fairfield  County,  O.  She  now  resides  with 
her  son  Charles  C.  Sanderson  at  Union  Mills,  La  Porte  County, 
Ind.  They  were  the  parents  of  eleven  children,  viz. : 

Sidney,  Amanda,  William  Brewster,  Mary  Luzetta,  Harriet,  Mary 
Augusta,  George  R. ,  James  H. ,  Josie  A. ,  Charles  C. ,  and  Horton  E. 

SIDNEY,  the  eldest,  was  born  September  26,  1835,  and  married  John  English. 
They  reside  in  Copp,  Potter  County,  S.  D.  They  were  the  parents  of  four 
children,  viz.  : 

Mary,  who  married  Francis  Kirby  ;  and  Harriet.  The  sons  were  Melvin  and 
Harry  Higley,  a  bright  and  promising  boy  of  twelve,  who  died  March,  1891. 

Mrs.  Sidney  English  died  of  pneumonia  December  27,  1891,  four  days  after  the 
decease  of  her  son.  Her  body  was  taken  to  Union  Mills,  Ind.,  for  interment. 

AMANDA,  the  second  child  of  James  E.  and  Zeruah  Higley  Sanderson,  born 
April  26,  1838,  married  A.  Washbury.  They  have  three  children,  viz.  :  Fin  ley  ; 
William,  who  died  at  seventeen  ;  and  Ina.  Mr.  Washbury  died  August  21,  1877, 
aged  forty-six. 

The  family  reside  in  M'Carthur,  Vinton  County,  O. 

WILLIAM  BREWSTER,  the  third  child  of  James  E.  and  Zeruah  Higley  Sander- 


son,  was  born  September  n,  1840,  and  entered  the  war  on  the  15th  of  August, 
1862.  He  did  not  long  survive  the  hardships  he  encountered.  He  died  at 
Young's  Point,  Miss.,  February  7,  1863. 

MARY  LUZETTA,  the  fourth  child  of  James  E.  and  Zeruah  Higley  Sanderson, 
born  November  n,  1842  ;  died  at  the  age  of  two  years. 

HARRIET,  the  fifth  child,  born  May  12,  1845,  married  Otis  Hathaway.  They 
have  three  children  :  Gtty,  who  died  at  three  years  ;  Dallis,  and  George.  They 
reside  in  Sheldon,  Iroquois  County,  111. 

MARY  AUGUSTA,  the  sixth  child  of  James  E.  and  Zeruah  Higley  Sanderson,  was 
born  March  13,  1847.  She  is  unmarried  and  resides  in  Copp,  Potter  County,  S.  D. 
She  is  a  teacher  in  the  Copp  School. 

GEORGE  R.,  the  seventh  child,  born  March  24,  1849  ;  died,  aged  three  years. 

JAMES  H.,  the  eighth  child  of  James  E.  and  Zeruah  Higley  Sanderson,  born 
July  16,  1852  ;  married  Lizzie  Fielding.  They  have  no  family.  They  reside  in 
Copp,  Potter  County,  S.  D. 

JOSIE  A.,  the  ninth  child  of  James  E.  and  Zeruah  Higley  Sanderson,  born 
September  17,  1854  ;  married  Othello  Higley.  No  dates  given.  They  are  the 
parents  of  two  daughters,  Bessie  and  Mabel.  They  reside  in  Union  Mills,  La 
Porte  County,  Ind. 

CHARLES  C.,  the  tenth  child  of  James  E.  and  Zeruah  Higley  Sanderson,  born 
April  25,  1839  •  niarried  Emma  Tice.  They  reside  with  their  widowed  mother, 
Mrs.  Zeruah  Sanderson,  in  Union  Mills,  La  Porte  County,  Ind.  They  are  the 
parents  of  four  sons,  viz.  : 

Clarence,  Lewis  E.,  James  E.,  and  one  whose  name  is  not  given. 

HORTON  E.,  the  eleventh  and  youngest  child  of  James  E.  and  Zeruah  Higley 
Sanderson,  was  born  April  26,  1860.  He  resides  in  Copp,  Potter  County,  S.  D. 
He  is  unmarried. 

BREWSTER  HIGLEY,  6th,  M.  D.,  the  third  child  of  Brewster 
Higley,  5th,  and  Achsah  Everts,  was  born  at  Rutland,  O., 
November  30,  1823,  three  months  after  the  decease  of  his  father. 
On  the  decease  of  his  mother  he  resided  with  his  grandfather, 
Judge  Brewster  Higley,  4th,  and  afterward  with  his  sister. 

At  the  age  of  eighteen  he  began  the  study  of  medicine  in  the 
village  of  New  Plymouth,  O.  His  first  medical  practice  was  in 
Pomeroy,  O.  In  the  spring  of  1848  he  removed  to  La  Porte, 
Ind.,  and  formed  a  partnership  with  his  uncle,  Dr.  Everts.  From 
the  medical  college  located  at  La  Porte,  he  took  his  medical 
degree  February  22,  1849.  He  also  became  a  member  of  the 
Northwestern  Academy  of  Natural  and  Medical  Science.  He 
practiced  his  profession  in  La  Porte  twenty-six  years.  ^ 

Dr.  Brewster  Higley  married,  October,  1850,  Maria  B.  Winchell, 
who  bore  one  child,  born  September,  1851,  a  son,  who  died  a  few 
days  old.  His  wife  fell  a  victim  to  a  prevailing  epidemic  in 
May,  1852.  August,  1853,  Dr.  Higley  married  Eleanor  Page, 


who  bore  one  son,  Brewster  Higley,  7th.  His  second  wife  died 
soon  after  the  birth  of  this  child.  His  third  marriage  was  in  1857 
to  Catherine  Livingston.  From  this  marriage  there  were  born 
two  children — JEstelle^'bom  April  4,  1859,  and  Arthur  Herman, 
born  September  3,  1861,  both  living  ;  but  his  wife  met  with  an 
injury,  of  which  she  died,  June  2,  1864. 

In  the  spring  of  1871  Dr.  Higley  removed  to  Smith  County, 
Kans.,  where  he  married,  March  8,  1875,  Sarah  E.  Clemans. 
To  them  four  children  were  born,  viz.  : 

Sandford,  who  died  in  1878;  Achsah,  born  1877;  Everett,  born 
July  26,  1880;  and  Theo.,  a  daughter,  born  September  10,  1882. 

While  living  in  Smith  County,  Kans.,  Dr.  Brewster  Higley,  6th, 
was  elected  and  served  one  term  as  clerk  of  the  court  of  the 
fifteenth  judicial  district  for  his  county. 

The  climate  of  Kansas  proving  too  severe  for  his  health,  he 
sold  his  farm  in  1886,  and  removed  to  Van  Buren,  Crawford 
County,  Ark.,  where  he  now  resides.  He  has  retired  from  pro- 
fessional life,  and  is  engaged  in  farming  and  fruit-growing. 

BREWSTER  HIGLEY,  7th,  the  only  son  of  Dr.  Brewster  Higley,  6th,  and  his  wife, 
Eleanor  Page,  was  born  1854,  and  married  Mary  Daniels.  Brewster  Higley,  7th, 
M.  D.,  resides  in  Nebraska,  where  he  has  a  lucrative  medical  practice. 

They  had  two  sons,  William  and  Frederick,  both  of  whom  died  in  infancy. 

Continued  from  page  241. 

SUSAN,  the  second  child  of  Brewster  Higley,  4th,  and  his  wife 
Naomi,  was  born  at  Castleton,  Vt.,  1786,  and  resided  with  her 
parents  after  their  removal  to  Meigs  County,  Ohio,  until  her 
decease.  She  never  married.  She  died  March  23,  1848,  aged 

CYRUS  HIGLEY,  the  second  son  of  Brewster  Higley,  4th,  and 
his  wife  Naomi,  was  born  in  Castleton,  Vt,  July  26,  1787,  and 
was  a  boy  of  ten  years  when  his  parents  removed  to  Ohio.  He 
spent  the  remainder  of  his  life  near  the  town  of  Rutland,  O. 

He  married  Electa  Bingham  of  Athens,  O.,  February  13,  1816. 

Cyrus  Higley  was  a  soldier  in  the  war  of  1812,  volunteering  as 
a  cavalryman,  and  furnishing  his  own  horse.  He  was  at  one  time 
among  the  troops  stationed  on  the  border  near  where  Dayton,  O., 
is  now  situated,  doing  guard  duty  against  the  hostile  Indians. 

In  religious  faith  he  was  a  Presbyterian.  The  Home  and  Foreign 
Record,  an  organ  of  that  denomination,  makes  allusion  to  Cyrus 
Higley  as  "one  of  the  most  valuable  co-workers"  of  the  society. 



His  wife  Electa  (Bingham)  Higley,  died  October  6,  1826. 
Cyrus  Higley  died  July  30,  1854,  at  Rutland,  O.  The  Pomeroy 
Telegraph  contained  the  following  with  the  announcement  of  his 

"As  he  lived,  so  he  died,  in  the  faith  of  the  Gospel  of  Christ. 
Our  beloved  brother  was  long  a  ruling  elder  in  the  Presbyterian 
Church  of  Rutland,  taking  a  deep  interest  in  the  troubles  which 
so  long  affected  the  church,  and  was  very  devoted  in  his  attach- 
ment to  old  school  views." 

As  he  neared  his  final  close  of  life,  of  which  he  was  conscious, 
he  expressed  his  desire  "  to  depart  and  be  with  Christ,  which  is 
far  better."  Of  him  it  may  be  said,  "  Blessed  are  the  dead  that 
die  in  the  Lord." 

Cyrus  and  Electa  B.  Higley  were  the  parents  of  three  children, 
viz.  : 

Lucy  P. ,  Julius  B. ,  and  Elizabeth. 

LUCY  P.  HIGLEY.  their  eldest  child,  born  February  17,  1818,  and  married  Dr. 
William  Hooper,  November,  1841.  They  resided  at  Rutland,  O.,  where  she  died, 
October,  1876. 

JULIUS  BICKNELL  HIGLEY,  the  second  child  of  Cyrus  and  Electa  Bingham 
Higley,  was  born  November  9,  1822,  at  Rutland,  O.  He  married,  March  14, 
1844,  Maria  Louisa  Fuqua  of  Greenup  County,  Kentucky.  They  resided  on  the  old 
home  farm  at  Rutland,  on  which  he  had  grown  to  manhood,  till  November,  1866, 
when  with  his  family,  then  consisting  of  his  wife  and  eight  children,  he  emigrated 
to  Greenwood,  Jackson  County,  Mo.,  settling  on  a  farm  where  he  resided  for  six- 
teen years.  The  greater  number  of  his  children  having  by  this  time  left  the 
paternal  home,  and  settled  at  different  points  in  the  great  West,  he,  with  his  wife, 
in  1882  removed  to  a  farm  in  Reno  County,  Kansas,  where  they  remained  till  the 
year  1889,  when  they  went  to  Sterling,  Rice  County.  Here  the  decease  of  his 
wife,  Maria  Louisa  Higley,  took  place,  February  28,  1892,  after  a  tranquil  and 
happily  spent  married  life  of  forty-eight  years. 

One  of  his  sons  writes  of  his  father  as  follows  : 

"  He  is  at  the  present  time  (1895)  in  the  Territory  of  Oklahoma.  It  is  his 
nature  to  live  in  a  new  country.  He  has  frequently  been  heard  to  remark  that 
nothing  would  gratify  him  more  than  to  again  aid  in  building  up  an  unsettled 
country,  if  he  were  only  a  younger  man,  and  equal  to  the  activities  required,  yet  he 
to-day  possesses  more  vitality  than  many  men  of  fifty,  which  he  is  proud  to  claim 
is  the  result  of  his  very  temperate  and  careful  habits  of  life. 

"  I  realize  my  incompetency  to  do  justice  to  the  character  of  my  father  ;  we  are 
glad  to,  place  on  record  something  of  his  noble  worth — one  has  only  to  know  him 
to  speak  his  praise. 

"  From  his  early  years  he  has  lived  the  life  of  the  Christian,  devoted  wholly  to  the 
cause  of  his  Master,  Jesus  Christ,  as  has  been  evidenced  at  all  times  by  his  daily 
walk  and  conversation. 


"  At  the  age  of  thirty-two  years  he  was  ordained  a  ruling  elder  in  the  Presbyterian 
Church  at  Rutland,  O.,  in  which  capacity  he  served  many  years.  By  force  of 
circumstances  he  and  his  wife  and  some  of  his  children  became  members  of  the 
Congregational  Church  at  Greenwood,  Mo.,  in  which  he  served  many  years  as  a 
deacon.  Mr.  Higley  is  very  liberal  and  progressive  in  his  views ;  he  studies  and 
thinks  for  himself,  and  since  his  connection  with  the  Congregational  body  he 
finds  that  he  prefers  it  to  the  Presbyterian  Church,  on  account  of  its  church 
government  and  more  liberal  teachings  on  the  doctrine  of  predestination.  He  is 
at  present  an  honored  member  of  the  Congregational  Church  of  Sterling,  Kans. 

"  At  all  business  meetings  of  the  church  his  advice  and  counsel  are  eagerly  sought, 
and  received  with  marked  respect  and  attention. 

"  At  the  weekly  prayer  meeting  he  is  ageneral  favorite,  and  a  regular  attendant." 
The  children  of  Julius  B.  and  Maria  L.  Fuqua  Higley  were  : 
S.  Fnqua,  Frances  E.,  Cynthia,  Dennis  B.,  Artemas  J.,  Addie  L.,  Stephen  W,, 
Huburt  L. 

S.  FUQUA  HIGLEY,  the  eldest  child,  was  born  at  Rutland,  O.,  January  25,  1845. 
He  is  a  typical  Higley  in  every  sense  of  the  name  ;  broad-shouldered,  weighing 
230  pounds,  clever,  active,  cheery  in  disposition,  and  energetic.  In  politics  he  holds 
strong  allegiance  to  the  Republican  party.  He  resides  in  Hutchinson,  Kans.,  and 
is  engaged  in  the  profitable  business  of  school  supplies  of  all  kinds. 

FRANCES  E.,  the  second  child  of  Julius  B.  and  Maria  Louisa  Higley,  was  born 
September  24,  1846,  and  married  Charles  L.  Campbell  of  Pleasant  Hill,  Mo., 
April,  1867.  She  died  March  8,  1868. 

CYNTHIA,  the  third  child,  born  February  17,  1848,  married  Ira  F.  Davenport  of 
Kansas  City,  Mo.,  August  14,  1884.  They  reside  at  Greenwood,  Mo. 

DENNIS  B.  HIGLEY,  the  fourth  child  of  Julius  B.  and  Maria  Louisa  Higley,  was 
born  at  Rutland,  O.,  September  28, 1849,  and,  married  Carrie  E.  Nobles  of  Hamp- 
ton, la.,  April  28,  1884.  They  reside  in  Sterling,  Kans.,  where  Mr.  Higley  is  a 
citizen  of  excellent  standing,  engaged  in  a  successful  business — "  Loans  and  Invest- 
ments." Besides  being  the  owner  of  a  pleasant  home  in  the  town,  he  has  large 
real  estate  investments  in  Sterling. 

ARTEMAS  J.  HIGLEY,  the  fifth  child  of  Julius  B.  and  Maria  Louisa  Higley,  was 
born  near  Rutland,  O.,  October  I,  1851.  At  the  age  of  fifteen  he  removed  with  his 
father's  family  to  Greenwood,  Jackson  County,  Mo.,  where  he  resided  five  years, 
working  on  the  farm  in  the  summer  and  attending  school  in  winter.  The  last 
winter  in  pursuit  of  his  education  in  Missouri  he  studied  at  the  Lincoln  Academy 
in  Greenwood,  after  which  he  spent  two  years  at  Beloit  College,  Wisconsin,  he 
then  traveled  one  year,  and  returned  to  Missouri  and  engaged  in  farming. 

On  the  6th  of  September,  1876,  he  married  Emma  E.  Howe  at  Kewanee,  111., 
daughter  of  the  late  General  J.  H.  Howe.  Mr.  Higley  continued  an  agricultural 
life  till  the  year  1879.  Its  dull  routine,  however,  not  suiting  his  tastes,  and  afford- 
ing little  opportunity  for  the  higher  intellectual  attainment  to  which  his  ambition 
led  him,  he  removed  to  Hutchinson,  Kans.,  where  after  studying  law  in  the  office 
of  Houck  and  Brown, — Mr.  Brown  being  at  that  time  a  Member  of  Congress, — he 
was  admitted  to  the  bar.  After  practicing  his  profession  for  some  time  he  became 
engaged,  with  nattering  success,  in  investing  money  for  Eastern  capitalists.  Devot- 
ing his  energies  to  this  business,  he  has  placed  a  greater  amount  of  money  among 
the  farmers  and  business  men  of  Western  Kansas  than  any  other  investment  com- 
pany of  his  town.  His  opinions  on  business  enterprises  are  considered  of  much 
value  by  those  seeking  to  invest  capital.  He  possesses  an  abiding  faith  in  the 
future  of  the  city  of  Hutchinson  ;  some  of  its  most  prominent  buildings  are 
standing  witnesses  of  his  push  and  energy.  The  Higley  Block,  built  by  Mr. 
Higley,  is  the  finest  office  building  which  Hutchinson  now  contains. 

Mr.  Higley  is  entirely  devoted  to  his  family,  which  consists  of  his  wife,  two  sons, 
and  two  daughters,  and  can  almost  always  be  found  at  his  home  when  not  at  his 
place  of  business.  His  children  : 



Florence,  born  January  2,  1878  ;  Clyde  S.,  born  September  28,  1880  ;  John,  born 
April,  1885,  and  an  infant  whose  name  is  not  given. 

ADDIE  L.,  the  sixth  child  of  Julius  B.  and  Maria  Louisa  Higley,  born  March 
13,  1855,  married  Albert  B.  Clark,  November  27,  1886,  at  Kearney,  Neb.,  where 
they  resided.  The  date  of  Mr.  Clark's  decease  is  not  given. 

STEPHEN  W.  HIGLEY,  the  seventh  child  of  Julius  B.  and  Maria  Louisa  Higley, 
born  May  3,  1857,  married  Sarah  E.  Henson  of  Socarro,  N.  M. ,  December  9, 
1885.  They  reside  at  Perry,  Oklahoma  Territory.  Their  son,  Claude  Higley,  was 
born  February  6,  1887. 

HUBURT  L.  HIGLEY,  the  eight  child  of  Julius  B.  and  Maria  Louise  Higley,  born 
August  19,  1864,  resides  a:  Riley,  Oklahoma. 

,        Continued  from  page  271. 

ELIZABETH,  the  third  child  of  Cyrus  and  Electa  Bingham  Higley,  born  Decem- 
ber 30,  1824,  married  David  D.  Allen,  April,  1846.  They  resided  at  Rutland,  O., 
where  she  died  December  30,  1846,  in  less  than  one  year  after  her  marriage. 

Continued  from  page  241. 

THERESA  HIGLEY,  the  fourth  child  of  Brewster  Higley,  4th, 
and  Naomi  his  wife,  was  born  at  Castleton,  Vt. ,  May  n,  1791, 
and  married  Josiah  Simpson,  July  23,  1829.  They  resided  near 
Rutland,  O.  Two  children  were  born  of  this  marriage.  Mary, 
who  married  Thomas  Kirker  and  resides  in  Salt  Lake  City, 
Utah  ;  and  Adeline,  who  married  S.  W.  Higley  of  Rutland,  O. 
Theresa  Higley  died  May  12,  1863,  and  was  interred  in  the  public 
cemetery  at  Rutland. 

HARRIET  HIGLEY,  the  fifth  child  of  Brewster  Higley,  4th, 
and  Naomi  his  wife,  was  born  at  Castleton,  Vt.,  1793,  and  was 
brought  to  Ohio  by  her  parents  when  four  years  of  age.  She 
married  Alvin  Bingham  of  Rutland,  February  12,  1816.  Here 
they  settled,  and  became  prosperous  farmers.  Mrs.  Bingham 
died  May  18,  1872.  She  was  laid  in  the  Family  burial  plot  on 
the  old  homestead  farm. 

Alvin  and  Harriet  Higley  Bingham  were  the  parents  of  six 
children,  viz. : 

Lucy;  Lucius  If.,  born  June  28,  1819.  Amanda,  born  April  3,  1821,  married 
S.  R.  Cavender.  She  died  P'ebruary  24,  1892 ;  he  died  December  28,  1891. 

Clarissa,  born  March  6,  1823,  married Carpenter  ;   she   died    March    14, 

1892.     Alvina,  born  November  7,  1826;  and  Samuel  N.,  born  August  14,  1831. 
Lucius  H.  Bingham,  the  eldest  son,  served  in  the  Civil  War. 

Lucius  HIGLEY,  the  sixth  child  of  Judge  Brewster  Higley, 
4th,  and  Naomi,  his  wife,  was  born  at  Castleton,  Vt.,  October 
24,  1796.  He  was  not  yet  one  year  old  when  his  parents  removed 


from  his  native  State  to  Ohio,  taking  this  infant  boy  with 

He  married  Nancy  Shepherd,  November  26,  1821,  and  resided 
for  more  than  four  score  years  upon  the  farm  that  his  father 
opened  in  the  wilderness  in  1799.  He  was  a  witness  to  remark- 
able changes  in  the  progress  of  civilization,  his  life  being  pro- 
longed until  he  became  one  of  the  few  living  links  connecting  the 
present  times  with  the  early  beginnings  of  Ohio.  He  was  familiar 
with  that  part  of  the  State  in  which  he  settled  before  the  plow- 
share had  turned  the  soil  of  the  heavy  forest-covered  land,  or 
the  hum  of  human  industry  was  heard  in  the  almost  uninhabited 
wilderness.  It  was  with  intelligent  and  unceasing  interest  that 
his  eyes  looked  upon  the  development  of  the  country,  the  whole 
face  of  which  changed  in  his  day. 

A  great  State,  taking  its  place  as  the  third  in  the  Union,  was, 
since  his  boyhood,  hewn  out  of  that  section  of  the  Northwest 
Territory;  new  counties  were  organized  and  old  boundaries  rear- 
ranged; section  after  section  of  cultivated  field  was  covered  with 
towns  and  villages,  corduroy  roads  and  depths  of  mud  into  which 
the  vehicles  sank  to  the  hub  were  followed  by  the  macadamized 
road,  and  then  the  railway  ;  postal  communications  were  es- 
tablished, and  the  newspaper  and  telegraph  came. 

Centers  of  mental  activity  were  established  ;  educational  facili- 
ties were  brought  to  a  high  development  ;  church  spires  point- 
ing heavenward  arose  in  every  direction,  bearing  strong  testi- 
mony to  the  declaration  that  "  Righteousness  exalteth  a  nation." 
It  was  the  backwoods  no  longer. 

Lucius  Higley  was  a  man  who  noted  these  great  passing  events 
of  real  life,  and  who  co-operated  in  the  accomplishment  of  these 
rapid  changes.  Throughout  his  long  career  he  was  highly  re- 
pected  for  his  personal  worth  and  solid  character. 

He  united  with  the  First  Presbyterian  Church  in  Gallipolis 
while  yet  a  young  man.  Personally  he  was  social  in  habit,  and 
exceedingly  fond  of  music.  During  his  green  old  age  he  re- 
tained his  health  and  spirits.  The  final  day  came  August  8, 
1881,  when  his  freed  spirit  was  gathered  to  his  fathers,  and  his 
mortal  remains  were  placed  beside  theirs  and  those  of  his  beloved 
wife  in  the  Family  burial-place  under  the  mulberry  tree.  He 
departed  this  life  at  the  age  of  eighty-four  years  and  ten  months. 

When  his  days  here  closed,  the  last  New  England  pioneer  of 
this  branch  of  the  family  had  passed  away. 


"  Our  life's  history,"  once  remarked  his  aged  uncle  in  a  letter, 
"consists  chiefly  in  entrance  and  exit — the  intervening  space  is 
passed  at  a  step,  and  we  fly  away." 

Nancy  (Shepherd)  Higley,  his  wife,  was  born  near  Maysville, 
Ky.  Her  father  removed,  with  his  family,  to  Meigs  County, 
Ohio,  settling  near  the  Higleys  during  the  Indian  troubles. 

By  her  energy  and  perseverance  she  obtained  a  fair  education 
for  those  times,  and  at  the  age  of  seventeen  she  began  teaching 
school,  continuing  until  her  marriage. 

She  was  a  woman  of  a  strong,  well-balanced  mind,  was  gifted 
with  an  unusually  retentive  memory,  and  considerable  musical 
attainment.  The  cheerful  evenings  by  the  home  fireside,  which 
it  was  the  habit  of  their  father  and  mother  to  enliven  by  singing 
together,  are  among  the  happy  recollections  of  their  children. 
She  was  a  member  of  the  First  Presbyterian  Church  of  Rutland, 
O.,  from  its  first  organization,  and  was  ever  a  warm  friend  and 
counselor  to  the  poor.  Her  husband  in  writing  to  a  relative 
some  months  after  her  decease  exclaims: 

"The  beloved  wife  of  my  bosom  departed  this  life  Jan.  2ist 
[1862].  Her  name  is  melodious  in  my  ear — I  have  lost  my 
parents,  my  brothers  and  sisters,  but  there  was  no  such  void  as 
when  this  wife  of  my  bosom  went  from  me.  We  were  brought 
up  near  to  each  other,  attended  the  same  school,  and  have  walked 
side  by  side  many  a  year." 

Nancy  Higley  died  in  the  Christian  faith,  in  the  sixty-sixth 
year  of  her  age.  Lucius  and  Nancy  (Shepherd)  Higley  were  the 
parents  of  nine  children,  viz. : 

Susan,  Lucius  M.,  Nancy  A.,  Naomi,  Mary,  Ransom  Br cluster, 
Charles  W. ,  Milo  H. ,  and  L.  Sardine. 

SUSAN,  the  eldest  child  of  Lucius  and  Nancy  Shepherd  Higley,  born  August 
22,  1822,  married  the  Rev.  William  H.  Bay.  They  reside  in  Marietta,  O. 

Lucius  M.  HIGLEY,  M.  D.,  the  second  child  of  Lucius  and  Nancy  Shepherd 
Higley,  was  born  in  the  ancestral  homestead  near  Rutland,  O.,  November  5,  1823, 
and  married  Elizabeth  B.  Morton,  September  19,  1848.  They  reside  on  a  part  of 
the  old  home  farm.  Dr.  Lucius  Higley  was  a  student  at  Chester,  Meigs  County, 
O.,  attending  a  collegiate  school  which  was  successfully  established  in  1842.  At 
the  age  of  twenty-two  he  began  the  study  of  medicine  under  the  instruction  of  Dr. 
Richard  Morton  of  Springfield,  Ky.,  in  which  town  he  afterward  practiced  his  pro- 
fession twelve  years.  In  1861  he  turned  his  attention  to  business  pursuits  in  the 
mercantile  line,  in  Middleport,  O.,  which  he  relinquished  after  three  years  of  experi- 
ence, and  in  1868,  on  the  decease  of  his  brother,  Dr.  Charles  W.  Higley,  at  Rutland, 
he  returned  to  that  town  and  again  took  up  medical  practice.  He  is  now  retired 


from  active  life.  Dr.  Lucius  Higley  has  held  the  office  of  justice  of  the  peace  for 
near  twenty  years,  and  has  given  attention  to  matters  of  a  legal  kind,  together  with 
devoting  considerable  attention  to  literary  pursuits. 

He  is  President  of  the  Meigs  County,  Ohio,  Pioneer  and  Historical  Society, 
and  President  of  the  Board  of  Education. 

Dr.  Lucius  M.  and  Elizabeth  B.  (Morton)  Higley  were  the  parents  of  several  chil- 
dren who  died  in  infancy.  Their  living  children  are  as  follows  : 

Nancy  H.,  born  May  22,  1852,  who  is  unmarried  and  resides  with  her  parents  ; 
William  M.,  born  March  30,  1860  ;  Pratt  //.,  born  January  2,  1862,  who  married 
January  i,  1891,  Luella  Cornwell  of  Gillespeville,  O.;  Lillie  £.,  born  September 
2,  1872. 

WILLIAM  M.  HIGLEY  resides  with  his  parents  near  Rutland,  when  not  engaged 
in  teaching. 

NANCY  ALICE,  the  third  child  of  Lucius  and  Nancy  Shepherd  Higley,  born 
March  5,  1825,  married  George  W.  Moulton.  They  reside  in  Arkansas  City, 
Cowley  County,  Kans. 

NAOMI,  the  fourth  child  of  Lucius  and  Nancy  Shepherd  Higley,  born  April  I, 

1826,  married  Judge  A.  Logue.     They  reside  in  Cheshire,  Gallia  County,  O. 
MARY,  the  fifth  child  of  Lucius  and  Nancy  Shepherd  Higley,  born  August  27, 

1827,  married  Captain  Joel  Phelps  Higley,  September  14,  1848.     She  resides  at 
Middleport,   Meigs  County,   O.      (See  sketch  of  Captain   Joel    Phelps  Higley, 
page  1 83.) 

RANSOM  BREWSTER  HIGLEY,  the  sixth  child  of  Lucius  and  Nancy  Shepherd 
Higley,  born  in  Rutland,  O.,  January  6,  1829,  married  July  7,  1857,  Amanda  Smith, 
who  was  born  February  7,  1829 ;  she  was  a  daughter  of  Livingston  Smith,  a  first 
cousin  to  Brewster  Higley,  4th,  on  the  maternal  side. 

Ransom  B.  Higley  was  engaged  in  gold  mining  in  the  early  days  of  California 
gold  hunting,  going  to  that  State  in  1851.  His  perilous  passage  by  steamer  to 
Panama,  and  long  delay  and  discomfort  at  that  point  in  the  torrid  heat,  together  with 
a  leaky  ship  on  the  Pacific,  and  finally  a  shipwreck  upon  the  coast  of  Mexico,  is  in 
striking  contrast  to  the  swift,  luxurious  journey  across  the  continent  as  it  is  now 
accomplished.  He  remained  in  California  six  years,  returning  to  Rutland,  O.,  where 
he  resided  until  his  death,  which  took  place  January  22,  1870.  His  wife  is  still 
living.  Their  children  were  as  follows  : 

Brewster  O.,  Emma  N.  and  Ella,  twins,  and  Homer  R. 

PROFESSOR  BREWSTER  O.  HIGLEY,  the  eldest  son  of  Ransom  B.  and  Amanda 
(Smith)  Higley,  and  the  eighth  Brewster  in  the  line,  was  born  at  Rutland,  O., 
January  24,  1859. 

Having  received  his  early  education  at  a  district  school  in  his  native  town,  he 
entered  the  university  at  Athens,  O.,  and  completed  a  college  course,  class  of  '92, 
degree  B.  Ph.  During  the  course  of  his  studies  he  engaged  in  teaching.  He 
is  a  member  of  the  Delta  Tau  Fraternity,  a  society  whose  growth  is  on  the  increase 
and  becoming  influential.  He  is  now  the  associate  professor  in  the  department  of 
United  States  history  and  political  science  in  the  Ohio  University. 

On  the  1st  of  January,  1891,  he  married  Amelia  H.  Shutt,  daughter  of  John  and 
Sarah  Shutt  of  Middleport,  O.  She  was  a  successful  and  enterprising  teacher 
in  the  Middleport  Schools,  an  educational  institution  of  the  higher  grade. 

They  reside  at  Rutland,  Meigs  County,  O.  They  have  one  child,  Brewsler  S. 
Higley  (the  gth  Brewster),  born  June  5,  1894. 


EMMA  N.,  the  only  surviving  daughter  of  Ransom  B.  and  Amanda  (Smith) 
Higley, — her  twin  sister,  Ella,  died  in  childhood, — was  born  July  6,  1861.  Emma 
N.  married,  September  2,  1888,  Elmer  L.  Bingham,  son  of  Samuel  N.  Bingham, 
and  grandson  of  Harriet  (Higley)  Bingham.  He  was  born  May  4,  1861. 

They  reside  at  Rutland,  O. 

HOMER  R.  HIGLEY,  the  youngest  child  of  Ransom  B.  and  Amanda  (Smith) 
Higley,  was  born  at  Rutland,  O.,  September  3,  1864. 

He  entered  the  Ohio  University  at  Athens  in  1888,  where  he  is  at  present  taking 
a  scientific  course,  as  well  as  a  special  course  in  electrical  engineering.  He  is  also 
a  member  of  the  Delta  Tau  Fraternity,  and  has  been  a  successful  teacher. 

He  resides  at  Rutland,  O. 

DR.  CHARLES  W.  HIGLEY,  the  seventh  child  of  Lucius  and  Nancy  Shepherd 
Higley,  was  born  at  Rutland,  O.,  June  17,  1831.  He  married  Sarah  Williams. 
He  became  a  medical  practitioner  of  unusual  ability  at  Rutland,  where  he  had  an 
extensive  practice.  He  died  February  9,  1866. 

Dr.  Charles  W.  and  Sarah  Williams  Higley  were  the  parents  of  four  children, 

William  C.,  Rodney  A.,  James  B.,  and  Julia. 

WILLIAM  C.  HIGLEY,  their  eldest  son,  born  June  28,  1855,  married  Ella  Lewis, 
October  9,  1878.  They  have  three  children,  viz.: 

Carl,  born  September  30,  1879  ;  Cora  E.,  born  June  IO,  1882  ;  and  Clara,  born 
December  23,  1884. 

Mr.  Higley  is  a  druggist  and  resides  in  Coolville,  Athens  County,  O. 

RODNEY  A.  HIGLEY,  the  second  child  of  Dr.  Charles  W.  and  Sarah  Williams 
Higley,  married  Mary  Lowery.  (No  dates  furnished.) 

They  have  two  children  :  Artie  and  Ethel. 

JAMES  B.  HIGLEY,  the  third  son,  married  Mary  Clark.  They  have  two  chil- 
dren :  Charles  and  Bessie. 

JULIA,  the  only  daughter  of  Dr.  Charles  W.  and  Sarah  Williams  Higley,  married 
F.  M.  Grover. 

MILO  H.  HIGLEY,  the  eighth  child  and  fourth  son  of  Lucius  Higley  and  his  wife 
Nancy  Shepherd  Higley,  was  born  November  18,  1832,  at  Rutland.  O. 

His  entire  life  has  been  associated  with  agricultural  pursuits.  He  received  his 
early  education  in  the  district  schools  in  his  native  township,  attending  later  on  a 
select  school  in  Pomeroy,  O. 

His  bent  when  quite  a  boy  was  for  musical  study,  and  at  an  early  age  he  availed 
himself  of  all  the  opportunities  within  his  reach  to  follow  this  ambition. 

His  progress  under  competent  teachers  was  satisfactory,  and  at  seventeen  years 
of  age  he  became  an  instructor.  In  1848  he  formed  a  choir,  the  first  organized 
choir  in  Meigs  County,  and  became  its  conductor.  For  many  years  he  has  been  a 
teacher  of  the  science,  and  the  leading  conductor  of  music  on  the  public  occasions  of 
his  town. 

On  Tune  17,  1855,  he  married  Mary  V.  Pankey.  Mr.  Higley  resides  in  the 
ancestral  homestead  which  his  grandfather,  Brewster  Higley,  4th,  built,  and  which 
has  come  down  through  two  generations.  His  wife,  Mary  V.  (Pankey)  Higley, 
died  of  la  grippe,  January  I,  1892. 

Milo  H.  and  Mary  V.  (Pankey)  Higley  were  the  parents  of  the  following 
four  children,  viz.: 

James  L.,  Edward  S.,  Kate  E.,  and  Burt  P.,  all  of  whom  were  born  near  Rut- 
land, O. 



JAMES  L.  HIGLEY,  the  eldest  son  of  Milo  and  Mary  V.  Higley,  born  November 
13,  1856,  married  Lenie  Lamb  of  Barlow,  Washington  County,  O.  He  was  edu- 
cated at  the  Middleport,  O.,  High  School.  He  is  a  farmer,  and  resides  on  the 
ancient  home-farm. 

EDWARD  S.  HIGLEY,  M.  D.,  the  second  son  of  Milo  H.  and  Mary  V.  Higley, 
born  September  28,  1862,  received  his  early  education  at  the  Middleport  High 
School,  from  which  he  was  graduated  at  ninteeen.  In  1882  he  began  the  study  of 
medicine  at  the  Hahnemann  College,  Chicago,  from  which  he  took  a  medical 
diploma  in  1886,  and  the  following  year  he  took  a  special  course  in  the  Chicago 
Homeopathic  College,  also  receiving  a  medical  diploma  from  that  institution.  He 
was  appointed  after  competitive  examination  as  Interne  to  Cook  County,  111., 
Hospital.  Since  then  he  has  actively  engaged  in  the  practice  of  his  profession  in 
Chicago,  111. 

He  married  Cora  Van  Zant  of  Rutland,  O.,  December  29,  1886.  They  have  one 
child,  a  daughter. 

KATE  HIGLEY,  the  only  daughter  of  Milo  H.  and  Mary  V.  Higley,  was  born  at 
Rutland,  September  28,  1862.  She  died,  unmarried,  April  7,  1888. 

BURT  P.  HIGLEY,  the  fourth  and  youngest  child  of  Milo  H.  and  Mary  V.  Higley, 
was  born  January  2,  1872.  He  is  a  young  man,  bright,  of  marked  intelligence, 
and  full  of  good  spirits,  making  many  friends  wherever  he  goes.  He  began  teach- 
ing a  district  school  when  eighteen  and  has  fully  sustained  his  marked  ability  as  a 
teacher.  He  is  taking  a  college  course  at  Marietta  College,  Ohio. 

His  home  is  with  his  parents. 

L.  SARDINE  HIGLEY,  the  ninth  and  youngest  child  of  Lucius  and  Nancy  Shep- 
herd Higley,  was  born  at  Rutland,  O.,  January  22,  1837.  He  never  married. 

He  enlisted  in  the  Civil  War  in  the  ?th  Ohio  Battery,  and  departed  on  February 
23,  1862,  with  the  troops  for  St.  Louis,  Mo.,  where  they  were  furnished  with 
arms  and  equipments.  He  fought  bravely  in  the  battle  of  Shiloh,  which  raged  nearly 
two  days  ;  was  at  the  capture  of  Memphis;  and  in  the  siege  and  fight  at  Corinth, 
Miss.,  and  at  the  taking  of  Vicksburg. 

From  exposure  in  the  service  during  the  late  summer  of  1863,  he  was  brought 
down  with  fever  and  lingered  for  some  weeks  in  an  army  hospital.  When  it  was 
clear  that  there  was  little  hope  that  his  life  could  be  saved,  he  was  granted  a  fur- 
lough at  Jackson,  Miss.,  and  sent  northward,  making  a  courageous  effort  to  reach 
his  home.  But  with  all  his  courage  and  endurance  his  strength  did  not  rally  suffi- 
cient for  the  entire  journey.  He  succeeded  in  reaching  Portsmouth,  O.,  the  home 
of  his  sister,  where  he  survived  but  two  weeks,  and  died  October  22,  1863. 

He  showed  great  fortitude  throughout  his  entire  illness,  and  expressed  noble 
acquiescence  to  the  fact  that  he  was  yielding  up  his  life  to  the  service  of  his  country. 
With  great  calmness  he  settled  all  his  affairs.  As  he  neared  his  close  he  fre- 
quently repeated  the  familiar  stanza  : 

*'  Jesus  can  make  a  dying  bed 

Feel  soft  as  downy  pillows  are, 
While  on  his  breast  I  lean  my  head, 
And  breathe  my  life  out  sweetly  there." 

It  was  his  expressed  wish  to  be  laid  to  rest  under  ' '  the  old  mulberry  tree  "  in  the 
Family  cemetery  on  the  ancestral  farm  near  Rutland,  beside  "  the  old  patriarchs," 
as  he  called  them — his  grandparents  and  kindred.  To  him  it  was  a  Machpelah. 

Sardine  Higley  possessed  a  fine  tenor  voice,  and  was  exceeding  fond  of  singing. 
Full  of  humor,  kind  and  sociable,  no  comrade  in  his  company  was  better  liked. 
He  was  declared  to  be  "  the  life  of  the  camp." 


Contin  uedfrom  page  241. 

JOSEPH  TRUMBULL  HIGLEY,  M.  D.,  the  seventh  child  of 
Brewster  Higley,  4th,  and  Naomi  his  wife,  was  the  only  child  in 
the  family  who  was  born  after  the  removal  of  the  parents  from 
Vermont.  His  birth  occurred  in  the  year  1800.  He  was  noted 
in  his  younger  years  for  his  poetical  talent,  a  vein  of  which  runs 
through  different  branches  of  the  Higley  family. 

He  married  Emily  Reed,  and  in  1835  removed  to  Rushville, 
Rush  County,  Ind.,  where  he  was  a  medical  practitioner  of  good 
standing.  He  died  there  in  1838.  After  his  decease  his  wife, 
with  her  children,  returned  to  Rutland,  O.,  where  she  died. 
They  had  three  children,  viz. : 

Lucinda,  born  1831,  who  died  aged  twenty;  Joseph,  born  1833, 
who  died  in  1879;  and  Marion,  who  died  in  1875. 

There  are  no  living  descendants  of  this  family. 



Continued  from  chapter  xviii. 

David,  ist,  Brewster,  tst,  Captain  John  Higley. 

Speak  of  me  as  I  am,  nothing  extenuate,  nor  set  down  aught  in  malice. — SHAKSPERE. 

DAVID  HIGLEY,  ist,  the  second  son  of  Brewster  Higley,  ist,  and 
Esther  Holcombe,  was  born  1712,  and,  according  to  the  "  Record," 
married  Anna  Owen,  " Aprrille  the  3:  A.  D.  1735."  Their  home 
was  in  Turkey  Hills,  Simsbury,  Conn. 

David  Higley  held  a  place  of  social  distinction  in  the  com- 
munity, and  was  honored  by  the  title  of  "  Mr.,"  a  form  of 
address  which  was  not,  in  those  days,  a  mere  title  of  courtesy  to 
every  adult  male  citizen,  but  bore  a  special  significance. 

He  possessed  a  comfortable  property,  which  was  increased  at 
the  decease  of  his  father  and  his  mother  by  legacies  from  their 
estates.  In  1785,  his  "list  for  the  year "  for  the  Society 
amounted  to  £10  145. 

The  pages  of  an  old  account  book  furnish  evidence  that  his 
larder  was  supplied  with  the  usual  stores  for  the  table  furnished 
in  the  average  colonial  home;  among  the  articles  named  are 
goodly  quantities  of  cheese  and  pork.  And  like  the  greater 
number  of  his  brother  church  laymen  of  his  day,  the  product  of 
the  rude  old-time  country  cider-mill  appealed  to  his  tastes;  and 
the  sight  of  a  barrel  of  cider,  or  a  jug  of  the  more  enlivening  and 
richer  distilled  product, — cider  brandy, — from  his  brother  Deacon 
Brewster's  still,  contained  a  fountain  of  irresistible  pleasure  in 
which  he  indulged  as  he,  sat  with  the  old  cider  connoisseurs 
before  the  fire-heap  of  logs  blazing  on  his  broad  hearthstone. 

The  following  entries  were  made  the  winter  of  1768-69: 




Higley  Dr  

4  qts.  Brandy. 
4  Quarts  Brandy. 
2  Quarts     do 
2  Quarts  Brandy, 
i  Ot.  Brandy. 







During  the  month  of  September,  1775,  five  gallons  of  brandy 
are  charged. 

David  Higley,  ist,  was  well  known  in  town  affairs,  receiving 
responsible  appointments.  As  "surveyor  of  highways"  and 
member  of  the  school  committee,  he  rendered  long  public  service, 
while  his  popularity  and  efficiency  as  tything-man'  is  shown  by 
the  repeated  appointments  he  received  to  that  office,  covering  a 
period  of  several  years  from  1752. 

He  must  have  been  a  man  of  exceptionally  fine  physical 
development,  his  exhibitions  of  manly  power  having  been  so 
excellent  that  they  gave  him  fame  throughout  the  colony.  As  an 
athlete  he  was  champion  in  the  foot-race,  an  attainment  of  high 
distinction  in  those  times.  Few  equaled  him.  Tradition  has  it 
that  in  running  races  with  horses,  running  from  Salmon  Brook 
to  Westfield,  he  was  always  the  victor. 

For  this  skill  he  was  often  called  to  the  front  when  emer- 
gencies arose  in  Indian  and  deer  hunting. 

A  minute  recorded  on  the  church  records,  Turkey  Hills  parish, 
states:  "February  i6th,  1777:  David  Higley  ye  ist  entered  into 
full  communion  with  ye  church,"  and  the  records  show  him  to 
have  been  ever  afterward,  to  the  end  of  his  life,  active  in  the 
affairs  of  the  church  society. 

His  wife,  who  is  entered  upon  the  church  roll  of  membership 
as  "  Jehannah,  wife  of  David  Higley  ye  first,"  was  admitted  to  the 
full  communion  of  the  same  church,  July  6,  1777.  She  was  then 
sixty-five  years  old. 

The  year  following  their  marriage  David  and  Anna  Higley 
buried  an  infant  son  who  bore  the  name  of  his  father.  Their 
other  children  were  as  follows : 

Anne,  Elizabeth,  David,  Deborah,  and  Tirzah. . 

ANNE,  the  eldest  daughter,  born  August  19,  1738  ;  married  Daniel  Halliday  of 
Suffield,  "ye  yth  day  of  Jan.  1760."  They  settled  in  Turkey  Hills,  and  were 
admitted  to  the  church  the  same  day  with  her  father. 

There  is  no  account  preserved  of  ELIZABETH,  the  second  child,  born  February  13, 
1742/3.  She  may  have  died  in  infancy. 

DAVID,  2d,  was  the  only  son  who  lived  to  maturity.     (See  sketch.) 

DEBORAH,  the  third  daughter,  born  October  15,  1747,  was  twice  married  ;  her 
first  husband,  James  Carr,  was  an  Irishman.  He  died  previous  to  1778.  They 
had  two  children.  August  17,  1780,  Deborah  Higley  Carr  married  Stephen  Griffen, 
and  became  the  mother  of  four  more  children.  She  was  admitted  to  full  com- 

1  See  footnote  i,  p.  141. 


munion  in  the  Turkey  Hills  Church,  October  18,  1778.     She  outlived  Mr.  Griffen, 
who  died  in  1821. 

TIRZAH,  born  July  25,  1752,  married,  1779,  Benjamin  Wright  of  Egremont,  Mass. 

Anne,  the  wife  of  David  Higley,  ist,  died  after  they  had 
walked  in  life  side  by  side  for  fifty-one  years.  The  stone  which 
marks  her  grave  in  the  EastGranby  cemetery  is  still  standing  and 
is  inscribed  thus: 

1Tn  memory  of  flfcrs  Bnnab,  wife  of  Ob*  Davfo 
wbo  oieo  December  &  3lst  &2>  1786. 
fln  g«  75  12ear  of  1ber 

David  Higley  died  about  the  year  1790,  the  exact  time  of  his 
decease  not  being  known.  He  is  last  mentioned  at  the  close  of 
the  year  1787;  moneys  were  "allowed  to  his  heirs"  in  the  settle- 
ment of  the  estate  of  his  brother  in  1794. 

It  is  reasonable  to  suppose  that  he  was  interred  near  his  wife 
in  the  Turkey  Hills  cemetery;  but  the  precise  spot  cannot  be 

Wherever  it  was,  the  little  strip  of  green  earth  where  his  hands 
lay  crossed  was  tenanted  by  a  man  who  left  this  life  not  empty  of 
its  earthly  honor,  for  he  bore  the  esteem  of  the  people. 

DAVID  HIGLEY,  2d,  the  only  son  of  David,  ist,  and  Anna  (Owen)  Higley,  was 
born  in  Turkey  Hills,  July  6,  1745. 

He  married  his  second  cousin,  Mary,  the  daughter  of  Jonathan  Higley  and  his 
wife  Mary  Thompson.  She  was  born  in  Turkey  Hills,  June  9,  1750.  The  mar- 
riage took  place  near  the  time  that  her  family  were  thrown  into  sudden  bereave- 
ment by  the  accidental  drowning  of  her  father  in  the  Farmington  River,  just  above 
Tarrifville,  Conn.,  1771.  (See  sketch,  chapter  Ix.) 

From  the  year  1781,  David,  2d,  was  active  in  the  town  and  the  church  society, 
receiving  many  appointments  for  various  services.  In  1782  he  took  up  the  work 
of  the  "school  committee,"  a  service  in  which  his  father  had  faithfully  engaged  ; 
and  at  the  town  meeting  held  in  Granby,  the  first  Monday  in  December,  1790, 
that  office  of  strange  importance  —  the  tything-man,  was  conferred  upon  him.  Our 
knowledge  as  to  where  he  spent  the  latter  years  of  his  life  is  somewhat  imperfect. 
That  he  emigrated  about  the  close  of  the  century  seems  quite  evident,  but  whether 
to  Vermont  or  to  the  Western  Reserve,  in  Ohio,  is  not  clear.  It  was  probably  the 
latter.  He  may  have  accompanied  one  of  his  children  when  they  emigrated  from 
the  State. 

The  date  of  his  death  is  therefore  missing.  His  wife,  Mary  Higley,  appears  to 
have  died  previous  to  1795,  as  she  is  not  mentioned  in  her  mother's  will,  which  was 
executed  that  year. 

David,  2d,  and  Mary  Higley  had  children  as  follows  : 

David,  3d.  born  June  14,  1773  ;  Huldah,  born  March  20,  1777,  and  baptized  at 


the  Turkey  Hills  Church  the  25th  of  the  May  following  ;  twin  sons,  born  Febru- 
ary 1 8,  1779,  one  of  whom  died  soon  after  birth  on  the  same  date  ;  the  other,  named 
Elisha,  died  February  19,  1779. 

DAVID  HIGLEY,  3d,  the  eldest  child,  married  Olive  Allen  and  removed  from 
Connecticut.  A  statement  is  found  in  writing  that  he  emigrated  with  his  family 
to  Vermont,  but  there  is  no  trace  to  be  found  of  them  in  that  State.  It  is  altogether 
probable  that  they  went  to  Central  New  York,  with  other  Higley  families. 

HULDAH  HIGT.EY,  the  only  daughter  of  David,  2d,  and  Mary  Higley,  married 
David  King.  They  emigrated  to  the  Western  Reserve,  Ohio,  and  settled  in  the 
vicinity  of  Kinsman,  Trumbull  County,  where  their  descendants  now  reside. 



Continued  from  chapter  xviii.  p.  TOO. 
Joseph,  ST.,  Brewster,  ist,  Captain  John  Higley. 

Hold  fast  your  Puritan  heritage, 
But  let  the  free  thought  of  the  age 
Its  light  and  hope  and  sweetness  add 
To  the  stern  faith  the  fathers  had. 


JOSEPH  HIGLEY,  Sr.,  was  the  third  child  and  third  son  of 
Brewster  Higley,  ist,  and  Esther  Holcombe.  He  was  born 
October  21,  1715,  and  baptized  when  two  months  old.  His  life 
and  experience  was  passed  in  Higley-town,  Simsbury,  the  place 
of  his  birth  being  the  same  as  that  of  his  death. 

His  home  estate  lay  next  adjoining  his  brother  Brewster 
Higley,  zd's,  farm.  He  was  old  enough  to  enter  into  the  active 
relations  of  life  while  several  of  the  families  of  the  first  gener- 
ation were  yet  in  their  prime. 

The  Higleys  of  Higley-town,  by  the  middle  of  the  eighteenth 
century  and  during  Joseph's  day,  were  strong  in  numbers,  cour- 
ageous in  spirit,  and  of  great  influence  in  the  community.  There 
were  now  no  less  than  twenty-seven  families  settled  on  their  own 
estates  at  Simsbury  and  its  adjoining  parishes,  whose  heads  were 
the  sons,  grandsons,  and  granddaughters  of  Captain  John  Higley. 

These  had  intermarried  with  many  of  the  old  well-known 
families  of  that  vicinity, — the  Holcombes,  Cases,  Barbers, 
Humphreys,  and  other, — still  everybody  in  those  parts  seemed 
related  or  connected  by  marriage  with  everybody  else. 

Joseph  Higley  was  a  prominent  figure  among  them.  He  was 
the  owner,  by  inheritance  and  purchase,  of  a  considerable  amount 
of  landed  property,  the  deeds  of  which  are  found  upon  the  Sims- 
bury  records,  and  was  well-to-do  in  the  world.  His  family  lived 
in  substantial  comfort. 

Civilization  in  the  colony  had  now  reached  a  stage  of  advance, 
though  the  customs  and  habits  of  the  people  were  in  keeping 
with  the  simple  mode  of  living  which  belonged  to  the  times. 



Like  the  elder  Higleys,  Joseph  Higley,  Sr.,  took  an  active 
interest  in  the  affairs  of  the  town.  At  the  town  meeting  held 
in  December,  1756,  he  was  "chosen  Surveyor  of  highways  "  for 
the  year  ensuing,  and  sworn  into  office.  To  this  official  relation 
he  was  re-elected  annually  for  a  number  of  years.  He  filled 
appointments  as  "District  Committeeman"  as  well  as  other 
public  offices,  which  furnish  commendation  to  his  ability  and 
faithful  discharge  of  duties. 

There  are  many  marks  of  distinction  left  upon  record  to 
indicate  that  his  social  position  was  dignified  and  on  an  elevated 
plane.  His  name  was  prefixed  by  the  title  of  "Mr.,"  till  a 
military  title  was  conferred  upon  him,  showing  that  his  rank 
was  fully  recognized  as  among  the  notable  citizens.  His  pew 
in  the  Simsbury  Church,  "No  4,  front  pew,"  re-assigned  to 
"Ensign  Joseph  Higley"  on  the  27th  of  December,  1768,  by  a 
town  committee  appointed  for  "  ye  seating  of  ye  meeting,"  was 
in  a  location  which  evidences  that  the  committee  carefully  con- 
sidered his  consequence.  These  church  sittings  were  always 
distributed  with  "respect  to  persons." 

Joseph  Higley  was  not  less  conspicuous  in  the  Colonial  militia 
than  others  of  Captain  John  Higley's  sons  and  grandsons  who 
made  soldiers'  records. 

The  following  action  of  the  General  Legislature  is  found 
recorded  under  date,  "  October  session  1762  "  : 

"This  Assembly  do  establish  Mr.  Joseph  Higley  to  be  the  Ensign  of  the  First  Com- 
pany or  train-band  of  Symsbury,  in  the  first  register  in  this  Colony." l 

At  the  May  session,  1769,  he  was  promoted  to  the  honorable 
rank  of  captain. 

Captain  Joseph  Higley  was  no  exception  among  his  brothers 
and  neighbors  who  were  fond  of  their  flip,  apple-jack,  and  the 
cider-mug,  his  name  being  entered  upon  the  pages  of  Deacon 
Brewster  Higley,  2d's,  accounts,  among  thirty  other  accounts 
against  different  Higley's  living  in  the  neighborhood,  concerning 
"Creditors  bringing  cider  to  the  Still." 

Captain  Joseph  Higley  was  three  times  married.  Soon  after 
passing  his  twenty-second  birthday  he  married  Ruth  Holcombe, 
April  i,  1737.  His  wife  died  in  childbirth  the  following  July,  and 
the  infant  followed  his  mother  to  the  grave,  one  month  after, 
August  26,  1737.  A  stone  still  marks  the  place  where  they  were 
laid  in  the  Turkey  Hills  cemetery,  East  Granby. 

1 "  Public  Records  of  Connecticut,"  vol.  xiii. 


About  1740  he  married  Sarah  Case,  with  whom  he  lived  till 
separated  by  death,  on  the  i2th  of  June,  1756.  After  a  lapse  of 
about  seven  years  he  married  Mrs.  Eunice  (Smith)  -  ,  a 
widow  '  with  five  children,  with  whom  he  lived  a  happy  united 
life  for  twenty-seven  years. 

By  his  second  and  third  marriages  he  became  the  father  of  ten 
children,  one  of  whom  died  in  childhood,  March  26,  1759. 

The  children  of  whom  his  wife,  Sarah  Case,  was  the  mother 
were  : 

Joseph,  Jr.  (or  2d),  Micah,  Asa,  Ozias,  Simeon,  and  Sarah. 

His  wife,  Eunice  Smith  -  was  the  mother  of  three  of  his 
children  —  all  daughters,  viz.  : 

Naomi,  Ruth,  and  Susannah. 

Of  the  sons  and  their  descendants  sketches  will  be  found  on 
pages  following. 

SARAH,  his  eldest  daughter,  who  was  born  1753,  married  James  Rudd,  November 
13.  1773.  an<i  removed  to  Becket,  Mass.  Here  she  resided  during  her  brief  married 
life.  Upon  her  tombstone  is  the  following  inscription  : 

Okies.  Sarab  1RuD& 

fcte&  Bpril  19«>  1777 

In  tbe  24*b  gear  of  ber  age. 

NAOMI,  who  was  born  January  I,  1761,  married  February  25,  1783,  her  cousin 
Brewster  Higley,  4th,  then  of  Vermont.  They  removed  to  Meigs  County,  Ohio. 
She  died  at  the  ripe  age  of  eighty-nine.  Further  particulars  of  her  life  are  recorded 
in  connection  with  the  sketch  of  her  husband.8 

RUTH,  born  about  1763  or  1765,  married  Judah  Case.  She  was  living  when  her 
mother's  will  was  probated,  1797. 

SUSANNAH,  born  1769,  married  Alexander  Campbell  Humphrey  of  Simsbury. 
She  died  in  1859,  aged  ninety  years. 

Captain  Joseph  Higley  died  at  Simsbury,  May,  1790,  in  his 
seventy-fifth  year.  His  will  was  offered  to  the  Court  of  Probate, 
July  17,  1790. 

He  appointed  his  sons,  Joseph,  Jr.,  Asa,  Ozias,  and  Simeon 
executors  of  his  estate,  and  to  his  youngest  son,  Simeon,  he 
devised  his  home  farm.  The  will  provides  for  his  "  beloved  wife 
Eunice  Higley."  To  his  son,  Joseph  Higley,  Jr.,  he  gave  "  the  lot 
on  which  he  now  dwells  in  Becket,  Massachusetts  Common- 
wealth"; and  to  his  two  grandsons,  Micah  and  Benjamin,  the 
children  of  his  son  Micah,  then  deceased,  he  gave  lands  in  the 

1  The  Editor  failed  to  discover  the  name  of  Eunice  Smith's  first  husband.  *  See  p.  238. 


same  vicinity.  The  lands  bequeathed  to  Asa  and  Ozias  lay  in 
Simsbury.  Legacies  were  left  to  his  daughters.  The  inventory 
amounted  to  ^1008  145.  6d.  His  wife,  Eunice  Smith  Higley,  sur- 
vived him  seven  years.  Her  will,  which  is  upon  the  Simsbury 
records,  was  received  at  court,  June  15,  1797,  and  mentions  in 
a  bequest  to  her  daughter,  Susannah  Humphrey,  "my  cow." 
She  left  her  property  to  her  own  children  by  her  two  marriages. 
The  children  of  her  husband,  Captain  Joseph  Higley,  by  his  former 
wife  are  not  mentioned  in  the  will.  She  had  property  in  her  own 
right  received  from  her  father Smith's  estate. 

Joseph,  2d,  Captain  Joseph,  ist,  Brewster,  ist,  Captain  John  Higley. 

JOSEPH  HIGLEY,  2d,  the  eldest  son  of  Captain  Joseph  Higley 
Sr.,  and  his  second  wife  Sarah  (Case)  Higley,  was  born  at  Higley- 
town,  Simsbury,  May  22,  1741.  He  married  Azubah  -Gillette, 
December  3,  1772,  a  descendant  in  direct  line  of  one  of  the 
oldest  Connecticut  families,  her  ancestor,  Jonathan  Gillette, 
having  come  from  England  with  the  Rev.  John  Wareham  and  the 
emigrating  church  in  1630,  and  a  few  years  later  settled  in  Wind- 
sor. She  was  born  February  27,  1749. 

Soon  after  their  marriage  they  went  to  reside  at  Becket,  Mass., 
being  among  the  early  settlers  in  the  rugged  and  beautiful  Berk- 
shire hills,  which  at  that  time  were  covered  with  woods  and  brush. 
Their  homestead  appears  to  have  been  held  by  the  father,  Cap- 
tain Joseph  Higley,  till  his  death,  eighteen  years  later,  when  by 
the  provisions  in  his  will  he  gave  to  Joseph,  2d,  "  the  lot  on  which 
he  now  dwells  in  Becket,  Massachusetts  Commonwealth."  Here 
they  lived  the  remainder  of  their  lives.  Azubah,  the  first  year  of 
her  marriage,  busied  herself  in  teaching  the  town  school,  and,  as 
was  the  custom  of  that  day,  her  husband  collected  her  earnings. 
On  the  Becket  town  records  is  the  following  item  : 

"  Voted — November  i  ith  1773  to  pay  Joseph  Higley's  account  for  his  wife  keep- 
ing school  the  sum  of  £\,  IDS." 

He  filled  the  office  of  town  surveyor  for  several  years,  about  the 
beginning  of  the  present  century. 

Joseph  Higley,  2d,  died  December  17,  1823.  His  wife,  Azubah 
(Gillette)  Higley  died  fourteen  months  later — February  13,  1825, 
at  the  age  of  seventy-six.  They  were  interred  in  the  old  burial- 


ground  at  Becket,  where  tombstones,  bearing  the  simple  inscrip- 
tion of  the  names  and  dates  of  decease,  mark  the  spot  where  they 
were  laid.  Children  of  Joseph  and  Azubah  Gillette  Higley  : 

Joseph  Higley,  3d,  born  April  25,  1774.  Sarah,  born  March 
18,  1778;  died  October  28,  1782.  Isaac,  born  May  30,  1776;  died 
June  15,  1776.  Silas,  born  September  23,  1780.  Philena,  born 
November  6,  1787.  Minerva,  born  April  19,  1791  ;  died  April  6, 

The  following  genealogical  sketches  of  the  descendants  of 
Joseph  Higley,  3d,  were  mainly  prepared  by  the  Hon.  Brainard 
Spencer  Higley  of  Youngstown,  O. 

JOSEPH  HIGLEY,  3d,  was  the  first  child  and  eldest  son  of  Joseph 
Higley,  2d,  and  Azubah  Gillette.  He  was  born  in  Becket,  Mass., 
April  25,  1774.  Being  a  faithful  student  he  obtained  an  education 
beyond  the  average  young  man  of  those  times,  and  became  a 
teacher  whose  praise  was  on  the  lips,  in  long  after  years,  of  those 
to  whom  he  was  instructor.  He  also  practiced  surveying. 

His  marriage  is  thus  recorded  : 

"December  4th  1803.  This  day  I  joined  in  matrimony,  Joseph  Higley  Jun.  and 
Sybil  Coggswell,  both  of  Becket.  "  NATHANIEL  KINGSLEY,  Justice." 

Sybil  Coggswell  was  born  March  15, 1776.  Leaving  Becket  with 
a  family  at  that  time  numbering  six  children,  they  emigrated  in 
October,  1815,  to  Windham, — then  Sharon, — Portage  County,  O., 
arriving  on  the  i9th  of  the  month.  Here  they  joined  the  colony 
of  relatives  and  connections  who  had  preceded  them  a  few  years 
before  (1811)  from  Becket.  Mr.  Higley  cleared  the  heavily 
timbered  land  of  lot  54,  the  farm  upon  which  he  resided  the 
remainder  of  his  life,  and  which  is  still  owned  by  his  son, 
John  Larkin  Higley.  He  became  a  citizen  highly  esteemed 
and  influential.  He  actively  sustained  the  church,  entered  into 
military  duties,  and  took  part  in  all  that  pertained  to  the  best 
welfare  of  the  community. 

He  died  of  a  fever,  October  18,  1825,  and  was  interred  in  the 
Windham  cemetery. 

His  wife,  Sybil  (Coggswell)  Higley,  was  a  woman  of  iron  con- 
stitution and  of  remarkable  enterprise  and  industry.  She  died 
December  i,  1864,  aged  eighty-eight  years. 

Joseph,  3d,  and  Sybil  (Coggswell)  Higley  were  the  parents  of 



eight  children,  six  of  whom  were  born  in  Becket,  Mass.,  and  the 
two  youngest  in  Windham,  viz. : 

Sybil  Rosella,  born  September  21,  1804;  Joseph  Nelson,  born 
September  6,  1806;  Sarah  Melissa,  born  November  6,  1808;  Ezra 
Coggswell,  born  August  22,  1810;  Eliza  Dewey,  born  April  22, 
1812;  Henry  Allen,  born  February  21,  1814;  John  Larkin,  born 
January  17,  1816;  and  Oliver  Brewster,  born  March  18,  1818. 

SYBIL  ROSELLA,  the  oldest  child  of  Joseph  Higley,  3d,  and  Sybil  Coggswell, 
was  born  in  Becket,  Mass.,  September  21,  1804;  married,  about  1832,  David 
P.  Robison,  who  was  born  January  15,  1805.  The  resided  in  Freedom,  O.,  for 
many  years,  then  in  Danville,  la.,  and  again  in  Windham,  O.,  where  they  died  ; 
she  died  April  27,  1879,  ne  died  January  22,  1880.  His  second  wife  was  Eliza 
Dewey  Higley  Earl,  sister  to  his  first  wife.  They  married  September  17,  1879. 
No  children  by  either  marriage. 

JOSEPH  NELSON,  the  eldest  son  of  Joseph  Higley,  3d,  and  Sybil  Coggswell, 
was  born  in  Becket,  Mass.,  September  6,  1806.  He  married  in  Aurora,  Portage 
County,  O.,  May  2,  1832,  Susan  White  Spencer,  daughter  of  Deacon  Brainard 
Spencer  and  Amy  Camron  (pioneers  of  the  Western  Reserve).  She  was  born 
September  8,  1810,  in  Aurora.  They  resided  at  different  periods  in  Windham, 
Aurora,  Twinsburg,  Harmon,  and  Youngstown,  O.  He  was  a  hardworking  man, 
and,  although  of  limited  education,  was  quite  a  reader  and  well  informed.  He 
died  in  Youngstown,  March  17,  1879.  After  his  death  his  widow  resided  with  her 
daughter,  Mrs.  Harriet  Allen,  in  Harmar,  O.,  where  she  died,  June  23,  1890. 

Children  -.Joseph  Brainard,  born  November  n,  1833,  died  July  18, 1834  ;  Brain- 
ard Spencer,  born  September  i,  1837,  in  Windham,  O.;  Harriet  Anna,  born  Sep- 
tember 29,  1843,  i*1  Aurora,  O. 

[The  following  sketch  of  the  Hon.  Brainard  Higley  is  chiefly 
taken  from  the  "  History  of  Trumbull  and  Mahoning  Counties," 
Ohio. — THE  EDITOR.] 

Brainard  S.,  Joseph  Nelson,  Joseph,  3d,  Joseph,  2d,  Captain  Joseph,  Brewster,  ist,  Captain 
John  Higley. 

BRAINARD  SPENCER  HIGLEY,  the  eldest  surviving  son  of  Joseph 
Nelson  Higley  and  his  wife,  Susan  White  Spencer,  was  born  in 
Windham,  O.,  September  i,  1837.  He  removed  with  his  parents 
to  Aurora,  O.,  in  1840,  and  thence  to  Twinsburg,  O.,  in  1849. 
Here  he  received  his  preparation  for  college  at  the  Twinsburg 
Literary  Institute,  and  entered  the  Western  Reserve  College, 
from  which  he  was  graduated  in  1859  with  third  honors  of  his 
class.  He  studied  law  at  the  Cleveland  Law  College,  also  with 
the  Hon.  Sherlock  I.  Andrews,  and  the  law  firm  of  "  Hitchcock, 
Mason,  and  Estep,"  and  was  admitted  to  the  bar  at  Wooster, 
O.,  July  2,  1860. 


On  the  ist  of  January,  1861,  he  married,  at  Twinsburg,  O., 
Isabella  R.  Stevens,  daughter  of  Dr.  John  G.  Stevens,  who  was 
born  in  Nelson,  O.,  August  15,  1838.  They  established  their 
home  at  Youngstown,  O.  Here  Mr.  Higley  was  soon  recognized 
as  a  painstaking  and  reliable  counselor  and  attorney,  qualities 
which  peculiarly  fitted  him  for  the  settlement  of  estates  and  the 
management  of  causes  growing  out  of  business  transactions. 

In  1863,  during  the  Civil  War,  Mr.  Higley  became  a  member 
of  the  National  Guard,  of  which  there  were  three  companies  in 
Youngstown.  In  April,  1864,  Governor  Brough  ordered  the 
whole  force  of  Ohio  National  Guard  to  report  on  May  10,  for 
active  service  for  one  hundred  days.  The  Youngstown  com- 
panies became  a  part  of  the  i55th  Ohio  Volunteer  Infantry, 
Colonel  H.  H.  Sage.  B.  S.  Higley  was  corporal  of  Company  D. 
The  regiment  was  mustered  into  service  at  Camp  Dennison,  and 
immediately  afterward  sent  to  Martinsburg,  Va.  Subsequent 
orders  took  it  to  Washington,  D.  C.,  White  House  Landing,  City 
Point,  Bermuda  Hundred,  Norfolk,  and  other  points,  making  a 
raid  through  the  Dismal  Swamp  to  Elizabeth  City,  N.  C. 

While  at  Norfolk,  on  garrison  duty  in  an  entrenched  camp, 
the  whole  regiment,  and  particularly  the  Youngstown  troops, 
sickened.  The  climate  seemed  deadly  to  them.  Very  few 
escaped  illness,  many  died,  and  large  numbers  were  disabled. 
When  the  Youngstown  companies  were  mustered  out  of  service, 
August  27,  and  returned  home,  they  excited  and  received 
commiseration  from  the  hearts  of  the  entire  community. 

Brainard  S.  Higley's  health  was  permanently  impaired  by  the 
ordeal  through  which  he  had  passed. 

"Just  before  entering  service  he  had  been  elected  mayor  of 
Youngstown;  a  new  marshal  and  council  had  also  been  chosen. 
These  all  enlisted  for  the  war  before  assuming  the  duties  of  their 
respective  offices,  leaving  the  town  to  be  governed  temporarily  by 
the  old  officials  whose  terms  had  expired.  On  the  return  of  the 
regiment 'the  incumbents-elect  took  their  places.  Mr.  Higley 
filled  the  office  of  mayor  two  years,  1864-65. 

"In  1867  he  entered  into  a  business  enterprise  at  Marietta,  O., 
to  which  place  he  removed  with  his  family  and  resided  eight 
years.  The  business  proving  a  failure  and  the  stockholders 
suffering  considerable  loss,  Mr.  Higley  returned  to  Youngs- 
town in  1875,  and  has  since  devoted  himself  closely  to  the  prac- 
tice of  his  profession.  With  two  exceptions  he  is  the  oldest 


member  of  the  present  bar.  He  is  a  lawyer  rather  than  an 
advocate,  and  is  particularly  successful  in  causes  requiring  careful 
preparation  and  close,  tedious  study.  As  a  citizen  and  man  he 
is  held  in  high  esteem." 

Children  of  Brainard  Spencer  and  Isabella  (Stevens)  Higley: 
John  Stevens  Higley,  born  October  20,  1861,  died  December  18, 
1865;  Belle,  born  May  27,  1863,  died  September  17,  1863;  Ruth 
Isabella,  born  May  22,  1866,  died  October  8,  1871;  Joseph  Nelson, 
born  September  i,  1868;  Brainard  Spencer,  Jr.,  born  January  13, 
1871;  George,  born  February  3,  1872;  Henry  Brewster,  born 
April  30,  1873,  died  November  24,  1873;  Almon  Knox,  born 
February  14,  1878,  died  January  20,  1880. 

JOSEPH  NELSON  HIGLEY,  the  eldest  surviving  child  of  Brainard  Spencer  Higley, 
finished  his  course  of  study  at  the  Rayen  School,  Youngstown,  O.,  from  which  he 
was  graduated  June  18,  1889. 

As  valedictorian  of  his  class  he  made  himself  a  record  by  the  delivery  of  an 
oration  which  was  worthy  of,  and  received  the  highest  plaudits  from,  the  large 
number  of  citizens  who  filled  the  Opera  House  on  the  occasion.  His  subject  was 
"  Uncle  Sam." 

He  has  chosen  the  legal  profession,  and  is  now  pursuing  the  study  of  law  under 
his  father. 

Continued  by  the  Hon.  Brainard  S.  Higley. 

HARRIET  ANNA  HIGLEY,  the  youngest  child  of  Joseph  Nelson  Higley  (4th),  was 
born  in  Aurora,  O.,  September  29,  1843  ;  married  April  7,  1870,  to  George  Luman 
Allen,  who  was  born  October  29,  1844.  Since  marriage  they  have  resided  in 
Harman,  Washington  County,  O. 

Children  :  Charles  Ethan  Allen,  born  February  21,  1871;  Florence  May  Allen, 
born  August  26,  1872. 

SARAH  MELISSA  HIGLEY,  third  child  of  Joseph  Higley,  3d,  and  his  wife  Sybil 
Coggswell (page  289),  born  in  Becket,  Mass.,  November  6,  1808,  married,  December 
IO,  1829,  Elijah  Adams  Scott,  who  was  the  son  of  John  Scott,  and  born  in  Becket, 
Mass.,  November  28,  1800.  She  died  March  18,  1836.  He  died  November  n, 
1880,  having  on  March  i,  1837,  married,  as  his  second  wife,  Sarah  Ann  Under- 
wood, who  survived  him. 

Children  of  Sarah  Melissa  (Higley)  and  Elijah  Adams  Scott  : 

JOSEPH  STILLMAN  SCOTT,  born  in  Freedom,  O.,  December  22,  1830;  married 
Ann  Eliza  Purdy,  December  25,  1850.  They  have  one  son,  Frank  Ellsworth, 
born  July  20,  1862.  They  live  in  Donaldsonville,  Marshall  County,  Ind. 

JULIA  ELIZA,  born  in  Freedom,  O.,  December  17,  1833.  Married  Josiah  B. 
Whippy,  December  18,  1880;  no  children.  They  reside  in  Atwater,  O. 

SARAH  MELISSA,  born  in  Freedom,  O. ,  February  24,  1836.  Married  Isaac  N. 
\Vilcox,  May  26,  1857.  They  live  in  Windham,  O. 

"  In  answer  to  the  first  call  for  troops  in  April,  1861,  Lieutenant  Isaac  N.  Wil- 


cox  enlisted  in  Company  F,  7th  Ohio  Volunteer  Infantry,  and  served  three 
months  as  second  lieutenant.  He  afterward  raised  a  cavalry  company  which  was 
attached  to  the  6th  Ohio  Volunteer  Cavalry,  and  served  as  first  lieutenant  till  near 
the  close  of  the  war,  when  he  received  a  captain's  commission. 

"  Lieutenant  Wilcox  took  an  active  part  in  the  famous  battle  of  the  Wilderness, 
and  in  many  other  battles  under  General  Grant,  and  in  marches  from  the  Rapidan 
to  the  James  River."  * 

Their  children  : 

Ida  Melissa,  born  July  17,  1858;  married,  May  II,  1886,  Aaron  B.  Pinney;  live 
in  Windham,  O.  Scott  Stillman,  born  June  14, 1864.  Wesley  Walter,  born  August 
31,  1881. 

EZRA  GOGGSWELL  HIGLEY,  the  fourth  child  of  Joseph  Higley,  3d,  and  his  wife 
Sybil  Coggswell,  was  born  in  Becket,  Mass.,  August  22,  1810.  Married,  October 
28,  1835,  Amanda  A.  Messenger.  She  died  March  14,  1886. 

In  1838,  three  years  after  his  marriage,  he  was  induced  to  go  to  the  then  far 
West,  accompanying  his  father-in-law,  Hiram  Messenger,  on  a  visit  to  Iowa. 
Finding  the  broad  prairies  awaiting  the  husbandman,  they  decided  that  that 
should  be  their  future  home.  The  spring  of  1839  found  Ezra  and  his  family 
in  Danville,  Des  Moines  County,  la.,  where  he  resided  till  his  death.  He 
was  one  of  the  first  and  most  substantial  men  who  pioneered  that  State.  He 
and  his  wife  celebrated  their  golden  wedding  October  28,  1885.  His  wife  died 
March  14,  1886.  Ezra  C.  Higley  died  January  24,  1892,  aged  eighty-one  years 
and  five  months. 

Their  children  : 

Sybil  A.,  Harriet  M.,  Henry  H.,  Emily  M.,  Mary  P.,  born  in  Danville,  la., 
May  9,  1855;  died  December  7,  1868. 

SYBIL  A.  HIGLEY,  the  eldest  daughter,  born  in  Windham,  O.,  September  5, 
1836.  Married,  October,  1859,  William  H.  Stewart.  They  have  always  resided  in 
Danville,  la.  Their  children  : 

Edward  E.  Stewart,  born  October  3,  1860;  married,  December  23,  1884,  Blanche 
Bodeboun,  and  lives  in  Oberlin,  Kans. ;  have  one  daughter,  Edna  Day,  born  Sep- 
tember 17,  1886.  Alice  M.  Stewart,  born  October  9,  1862  ;  married,  December 
23,  1885,  William  Hunt;  resides  in  Burlington,  la.;  they  have  two  daughters, 
Clara  L.  and  Helen  E.  Clara  B.  Stewart,  born  January  i,  1867;  married  William 
Hanna,  November  5,  1890. 

HARRIET  M.  HIGLEY,  second  daughter  of  Ezra  C.  and  Amanda  A.  Higley,  was 
born  in  Windham,  O.,  February  5,  1838.  Married,  January  29,  1868,  Judson  A. 
Scovel.  She  died  May,  1874,  leaving  the  following  children  : 

Luman  W.  Scovel,  born  January  15,  1871,  lives  in  Tucasto,  la.;  EJfie  D.  Scovel, 
born  December  I,  1873,  died  October,  1874. 

HENRY  H.  HIGI.EY,  eldest  son  of  Ezra  C.  Higley,  was  born  in  Danville,  la., 
April  4,  1842.  Married,  January  30,  1867,  Mary  E.  Minson.  Has  always  lived  in 
Danville,  la.,  and  is  a  farmer. 

Henry  H.  Higley  enlisted  August  25,  1862,  in  the  i$th  Iowa  Infantry,  and 
was  with  his  regiment  until  the  close  of  the  war.  Was  with  General  Sherman 
from  the  time  he  left  Grand  Junction,  through  the  seige  of  Vicksburg  and  Grand 
Gulf.  Thence  went  to  Atlanta,  Ga.,  and  was  in  both  battles,  22d  and  28th  ; 
and  then  in  the  flank  movement  that  forced  Hood  to  surrender  ;  was  with  Sherman 
on  his  march  to  the  sea.  Was  in  Raleigh  when  Lee  surrendered.  He  was  in 
eighteen  battles.  He  was  honorably  discharged  August  5,  1865,  at  the  close  of 
the  war. 

1 "  History  of  Portage  County,  Ohio,"  p.  924. 


His  children  are  : 

Nellie  A.,  born  March  I,  1869  ;  died  October  23,  1878.  Twin  girls,  born  July 
22,  1876.  Frank  //.,  born  August  2,  1880.  Pearl  M.,  born  May  15,  1887. 

EMILY  M.  HIGLEY,  fourth  child  of  Ezra  C.  Higley,  was  born  in  Danville,  la., 
September  19,  1846,  and  resided  with  her  father  on  the  home  farm. 

ELIZA  DEWEY  HIGLEY,  fifth  child  of  Joseph,  3d,  and  Sybil  Coggswell  Higley, 
was  born  in  Becket,  Mass.,  April  22,  1812.  Married  in  Windham,  O.,  June  15, 
1834,  James  Earl,  who  was  born  November  25,  1807.  He  died  November  28, 
1846.  Her  second  husband  was  David  P.  Robison,  whom  she  married  September 

17,  1879.   •  He  died  January  22,  1880.     Mrs.  Robison  died  1888.     She  was  a  re- 
markable woman.     Left  a  widow  upon  a  farm,  with  three  children,  the  eldest  only 
eight  years  of  age,  the  youngest  an  invalid,  incurable,  and  often  helpless,  and  her 
aged  mother,  who  soon  became  weak  mentally  and  a  serious  charge,  she  managed 
her  farm  and  business  successfully,  acquired  a  competence,  educated  and  reared  her 
children  to  adult  years,  and  tenderly  cared  for  and  nursed  her  mother  until  she  died, 
aged  over  eighty-eight  years.     Notwithstanding  all  her  labors  and  cares,  Mrs. 
Robison  lived  an  active  life  till  her  decease  in  1888.     Her  children,  all  of  first 
marriage,  are  : 

ORLANDO  LYCURGUS  EARL,  born  July  22,  1838.  He  enlisted,  September  20, 
1861,  as  private  in  Company  A,  42d  Regiment  Ohio  Volunteer  Infantry,  Colonel 
James  A.  Garfield  (subsequently  President  of  the  United  States)  commanding  ;  was 
in  Camp  Chase  twelve  weeks.  The  regiment  was  a  part  of  the  force  sent  in  Decem- 
ber, 1861,  up  the  Big  Sandy,  Virginia.  Took  part  in  the  battle  of  Middle  Creek, 
January  10,  1862  ;  went  down  the  Ohio  to  Louisville,  Ky.,  then  to  Cumberland 
Gap.  From  the  Gap,  supplies  being  cut  off,  was  forced  to  retreat,  and  reached  the 
Ohio  River  at  Greenupsburg  in  the  fall  of  1862  ;  went  to  Memphis,  Tenn.,  and  was 
with  Sherman  in  his  unsuccessful  attack  upon  Vicksburg  ;  was  in  Grant's  army  dur- 
ing the  campaign  that  resulted  in  the  capture  of  Vicksburg.  During  the  rest  of  his 
term  of  service  he  was  on  or  near  the  Mississippi  River  ;  was  honorably  discharged 
at  Columbus,  O.,  September  30,  1864,  never  having  received  a  wound  or  been  ill 
one  day.  He  married,  December  n,  1865,  Emily  J.  Cutts,  who  was  born  April 

18,  1842.     He  lives  in  Windham,  O.,  and  has  the  following  children  : 

Edwin  C.,  born  July  6,  1868  ;  Mabel  A.,  born  June  I,  1870;  Enise  B.t  born 
September  II,  1873. 

EDWIN  D.  EARL,  second  son  of  James  and  Eliza  Higley  Earl,  born  June  17,  1841, 
enlisted  in  Company  I,  I7ist  Regiment  Ohio  National  Guard,  in  April,  1864  ; 
ordered  to  Johnson's  Island  to  guard  Confederate  prisoners  there.  During  Mor- 
gan's raid  the  regiment  was  sent  to  Kentucky,  and  the  subject  of  this  sketch  was 
killed  at  Keller's  Bridge,  in  the  engagement  June  II,  1864.  Windham  never  had 
a  young  man  who  was  more  highly  esteemed,  more  loved,  and  more  generally 

ELIZABETH  A.  EARL,  born  March  n,  1846;  died  February  3,  1870. 

HENRY  ALLEN  HIGLEY,  the  sixth  child  of  Joseph,  3d,  and  Sybil  Coggswell  Hig- 
ley, born  in  Becket,  Mass.,  February  21,  1814,  married,  May  7,  1840,  Mary  E. 
Seeley,  who  was  born  October  16,  1821,  and  died  October  4,  1866.  His  second 
wife  was  Marion  M.  Udall,  born  April  16,  1842.  This  marriage  took  place  Novem- 
ber 7,  1867.  His  wife  died  October  7,  1870.  His  third  wife  is  Sarah  Joslyn,  who 


was  born  April  6,  1825,  and  to  whom  he  was  married  August  24,  1871.  He  has 
lived  in  Windham  since  1815,  is  a  farmer,  and  one  of  the  substantial  and  highly 
respected  citizens  of  the  town.  He  has  repeatedly  held  offices  of  trust.  His  chil- 
dren are  as  follows  ;  all  of  them  by  first  marriage  except  the  last,  who  is  of  the 
second  : 

Henry  James.  Charles  Olin,  born  March  5,  1852  ;  died  January  II,  1862. 
Nettie  M.,  born  May  25,  1855,  resides  in  Cleveland,  O.  Frank  S.,  born  March  7, 
1869,  resides  in  Windham. 

HENRY  JAMES  HIGLEY,  the  eldest  son,  was  born  in  Windham,  O.,  June  30,  1849  ; 
married,  December  I,  1870,  Virginia  A.  Little.  He  is  a  painter  by  trade,  and  re- 
sides in  Windham,  O.  Children: 

Warren  William,  born  July  7,  1874  ;  died  October  23,  1877.  James  Little, 
born  August  II,  1880.  Thomas  William, \yon\  March  4,  1882.  George  Henry, 
born  September  22,  1884. 

JOHN  LARKIN  HIGLEY,  the  seventh  child  of  Joseph,  3d,  and  Sybil  Coggswell 
Higley,  was  born  in  Windham  O.,  January  17,  1816,  and  married,  March  2,  1841, 
Elizabeth  K.  Frary,  who  was  born  in  Becket,  Mass.,  November  12,  1820. 

Mr.  Higley  bears  the  reputation  of  being  one  of  the  most  successful  farmers  of 
the  township.  His  farm  is  the  original  land  which  his  father,  Joseph  Higley, 
3d,  settled  upon  on  his  arrival  in  Windham  in  1815.  He  has  served  as  justice  of 
the  peace  and  held  other  town  offices.  Windham  has  no  more  reputable  or 
worthy  citizen  than  he.  During  the  Civil  War  he  did  a  noble  work  by  faithfully 
rendering  very  efficient  aid  to  the  families  of  soldiers  who  were  at  the  front.  He 
is  an  honored  and  active  member  of  the  Presbyterian  Church.  Children  of  John 
Larkin  and  Elizabeth  K.  Frary  Higley  : 

Infant  son,  born  and  died  March  12,  1842  ;  Ophelia  L.,  Joseph  Larkin,  Emma 
E.,  Halbert  D.,  born  November  II,  1853  ;  lives  in  Windham.  Belle  A.,  born 
April  26,  1857.  Francis  S.,  born  July  16,  1859. 

OPHELIA  L.,  the  eldest  daughter,  born  October  4,  1843,  resides  in  Windham. 

JOSEPH  LARKIN,  eldest  son  of  John  Larkin  and  Elizabeth  Frary  Higley,  was 
born  January  23,  1847  ;  married,  October  31,  1876,  Jennie  A.  Scott,  who  was  born 
March  12,  1858.  He  is  engaged  in  business  in  Canton,  O.  Children  : 

Ethel,  born  May  3,  1880  ;  died  January  22,  1883.     Etta,  born  September,  1883. 

EMMA  E.,  daughter  of  John  Larkin  and  Elizabeth  Frary  Higley,  was  born  in 
Windham,  O.,  May  25,  1849  ;  married,  August  12,  1880,  N.  S.  Kellogg,  and  resides 
on  a  farm  in  Claridon,  Geauga  County,  O.  Children  : 

Gertrude  Belle,  born  February  7,  1882.    John  Sherman,  born  August  14,  1883. 

OLIVER  BREWSTER  HIGLEY,  the  eighth  and  youngest  child  of  Joseph,  3d,  and 
Sybil  Coggswell  Higley,  was  born  in  Windham,  O.,  March  18,  1818  ;  married, 
August  1 8,  1846,  Eunice  D.  Johnson,  who  was  born  March  5,  1824.  They  resided 
in  Danville,  la.,  where  on  August  15,  1847,  there  was  born  to  them  a  son,  Milton 
B.  Mrs.  Eunice  D.  Higley  died  Angust  18,  1847.  Oliver  B.  Higley  married,  June 
4,  1849,  his  second  wife,  Betsy  Case,  who  was  born  June  4,  1827.  About  this  time 
he  removed  to  \Vindham,  O.,  where  he  died,  February  19,  1866.  He  was  an  indus- 
trious and  thrifty  citizen,  a  worthy  member  of  society.  His  widow  resides  with  her 
son,  Edwin  E.  Higley,  in  Windham.  The  children  by  second  marriage  are  : 

Charles  W.,  born  May  30,  1850.     Mary  Francis,  born  August  20,  1851  ;  died 



September  23,  1888  (unmarried).  Julia  A.,  born  May  27,  1854  ;  died  August  13, 
1858.  Clinton  A.,  born  July  13,  1859,  a  printer,  resides  in  Minneapolis,  Minn. 
Edwin  E.,  born  March  13,  1864. 

MILTON  B.  HIGLEY,  the  only  child  by  the  first  marriage,  was  born  in  Danville, 
la.,  August  15,  1847;  married,  September  21,  1875,  Celia  Castle,  who  was  born 
Febuary  n,  1855.  He  is  employed  in  a  factory  in  Ashtabula,  O.  Their  children  : 

Ettie  M.y  born  September,  19,  1878.     Flossy  M.,  born  June  5,  1884. 

CHARLES  W.  HIGLEY,  the  eldest  son  of  Oliver  B.  and  Betsey  Case  Higley,  born 
May  30,  1850 ;  married,  December  7,  1872,  Lovena  A.  Weed,  who  was  born 
August  12,  1850.  He  is  a  farmer  and  resides  in  Windham,  O.  Their  children: 

Verna  M.,  born  December  7,  1874.     Lena  M.,  born  June  20,  1876. 

EDWIN  E.  HIGLEY,  the  youngest  son,  born  March  13,  1864  ;  married,  January  19, 
1886,  Lucy  Barnum,  who  was  born  May  12,  1863.  He  is  a  farmer  and  resides  in 
Windham,  O.,  in  the  house  formerly  owned  by  his  father,  Oliver  B.  Higley. 


Silas,  Joseph,  2d,  Joseph,  ist,  Brewster,  ist,  Captain  John  Higley. 
Continued  from  page  288. 

We  now  return  to  the  direct  line  of  Joseph  Higley,  ad,  son  of 
Captain  Joseph,  ist. 

SILAS  HIGLEY,  the  fourth  child  of  Joseph  Higley,  2d,  and 
Azubah  Gillette,  was  born  at  Becket,  Mass.,  September  23,  1780. 
He  lived  and  died  in  Becket.  On  the  3oth  of  October,  1805,  he 
married  Deborah  Messenger,  who  was  born  October  15,  1783. 
The  marriage  ceremony  was  performed  by  "  George  Conant, 

Silas  Higley  died  June  9,  1864,  at  the  age  of  eighty-four.  His 
wife  died  March  9,  1857.  They  had  six  children,  as  follows: 

Silas  Orlando,  Deborah  Laverna,  twins,  born  August  28,  1806. 
Edwin  Wood,  born  August  15,  1808;  died  March  7,  1844.  Lueian 
Arthur,  born  April  13,  1810;  died  November  14,  1844.  William 
Dwight,  born  January  n,  1812;  died  November  28,  1817.  Emily 
Aurelia,  born  September  27,  1813;  died  May  21,  1839. 

Of  the  above  family  SILAS  ORLANDO,  who  was  known  altogether 
by  his  middle  name,  Orlando,  married  Lucinda  Davis,  May  13, 
1831.  They  reside  in  Becket.  They  had  one  child,  George  Edwin, 
born  April  23,  1862,  who  died  the  following  September. 

DEBORAH  LAVERNA,  his  twin  sister,  married  Myron  B.  Maltoon 
of  Lenox,  Mass.  Their  children  were :  George  Myron,  born 
October  9,  1834;  Catherine  Laverna,  born  June  20,  1837;  Charles 
Giddings,  born  April  i,  1839.  Deborah  (Higley)  Maltoon  died  in 
Lenox,  Mass.,  January  30,  1882. 


LUCIAN  ARTHUR,  the  fourth  child  of  Silas  Higley,  married 
Morilla  N.  Church  of  Middlefield,  Mass.,  October  n,  1831. 
They  resided  in  Becket,  Mass.  He  died  November  14,  1844.  His 
wife  died  January  18,  1870. 

Their  children :  Charles  Wright  and  William  Edward. 

CHARLES  WRIGHT  HIGLEY,  born  January  15,  1835,  married 
Ann  Miller  of  Lenox,  Mass.,  November  21,  1858.  He  died  June 
22,  1863. 

WILLIAM  EDWARD  HIGLEY  was  born  September  23,  1837.  His 
early  education  was  obtained  in  the  public  schools.  His  father 
dying  when  he  was  but  seven  years  of  age,  the  care  and  solicitude 
of  the  family  came  upon  the  mother.  William  was  thus  early 
initiated  into  the  responsibilities  of  life.  Employment  was  found 
for  him  on  a  farm  at  Middlefield.  When  a  youth  of  sixteen  he 
went  to  Pittsfield,  Mass.,  to  learn  the  trade  of  tailoring,  and 
afterward  opened  a  tailoring  establishment  in  Middlefield. 
Later  on  he  removed  to  Becket,  where  he  conducted  a  merchant 
tailoring  business  for  many  years. 

Mr.  Higley  displayed  originality  and  ability  in  the  art  of  cut- 
ting garments,  and  became  widely  and  popularly  known  in  his  line 
of  business.  He  wrote  a  series  of  articles  for  Scott's  Mirror  of 
Fashion,  and  other  trade  periodicals,  which, attracted  very  con- 
siderable attention,  and  were  republished  in  the  columns  of  The 
Tailor  and  Cutter,  in  London.  The  many  inquiries  that  came  to 
him  from  these  articles,  instigated  him  to  originate  and  patent  a 
system  of  cutting,  the  best  points  of  which  have  been  adopted  in 
nearly  all  of  the  systems  of  cutting  garments  now  in  use. 

In  1880  Mr.  Higley  opened  a  grocery  house,  and  later  he  pur- 
chased an  apothecary  store,  in  which  business  he  is  now  engaged. 

William  E.  Higley  is  a  member  of  the  Congregational  Church 
in  Becket,  which  he  has  served  for  many  years  as  collector  and 
treasurer.  He  is  also  a  member  of  the  Masonic  fraternity. 

Music  happily  being  one  of  his  delights,  he  entered  its  realm, 
devoting  a  considerable  amount  of  time  to  its  practice.  He  is  a 
successful  instructor,  teaching  in  private  schools,  and  for  thirty- 
two  years  he  played  a  Boehm  flute  at  the  church  services,  and  con- 
ducted the  singing. 

The  cause  of  education  has  long  laid  upon  Mr.  Higley's  heart, 
in  which  he  takes  practical  interest,  having  served  for  some  time 
as  chairman  of  the  school  board  of  his  town. 

On  the  ist  of  January,  1860,  William  E.  Higley  married  Maria 



A.  Miller  of  Stockbridge,  Mass.     They  are  the  parents  of  three 
children,  viz. : 

Charles  William,  born  November  18,  1864;  Arthur  Lucian,  born 
April  4,  1868;  and  Anna  Morilla,  born  January  4,  1870. 

CHARLES  WILLIAM  HIGLEY,  the  eldest  child  of 'William  E.  and  Maria  A.  (Miller) 
Higley,  was  born  in  Becket,  Mass.,  November  18,  1864.  His  early  education  was 
obtained  at  a  private  school  in  that  town  ;  later  on  he  attended  the  high  school  at 
Stockbridge,  Mass.,  and  afterward  was  a  student  at  the  Wesleyan  Academy, 
Wilbraham,  Mass.  During  the  year  1882  he  took  the  responsibility  of  becoming  a 
teacher,his  mental  power  advancing  him  at  an  early  age.  He  accepted  a  position  in 
the  school  at  West  Becket.  The  following  year,  on  obtaining  a  State  scholarship, 
he  entered  the  Worcester  (Mass.)  Polytechnic  Institute,  from  which  he  was  graduated 
July,  1886,  receiving  the  degree  of  Bachelor  of  Science. 

The  same  year  he  entered  the  engineering  department  of  the  Boston  Bridge 
Works.  By  nature  and  habit  industrious,  he  has  proved,  in  this  connection,  thor- 
oughly efficient,  his  ability,  energy,  and  activity  challenging  the  respect  and  admira- 
tion of  the  company.  He  now  holds  a  responsible  position,  being  its  representative. 

In  his  early  boyhood  Charles  W.  Higley  developed  a  bent  for  music,  in  which  he 
was  indulged,  and  his  development  was  such  that  he  performed  on  the  organ  at  the 
church  services  in  his  native  town  at  the  age  of  thirteen,  continuing  as  organist  for 
three  years. 

He  resides  in  Boston,  Mass. 

ARTHUR  LUCIAN  HIGLEY,  the  second  child  qf  William  E.  and  Maria  A.  (Miller) 
Higley,  was  born  in  Becket,  Mass.,  January  4,  1868.  Scarcely  one  year  of  his  life 
had  passed  when  he  was  made  deaf  by  the  effects  of  an  attack  of  measles.  Every 
effort  has  been  made  by  his  parents  to  make  the  life  of  this  most  promising  child 
both  enjoyable  and  useful. 

He  received  an  excellent  education  at  the  Clarke  Institution  for  the  Instruction 
of  Mutes,  at  Northampton,  Mass.,  where  he  was  a  student  ten  years.  Here  he 
learned  the  cabinetmakers'  trade,  making  himself  a  reputation  for  his  clever  work- 
manship, and  showing  himself  thoroughly  possessed  of  mechanical  genius. 

He  resides  with  his  parents  in  Becket,  following  his  trade,  in  which  he  excels  in 
turning  out  fine  and  beautiful  work.  To  all  who  meet  him,  his  bright,  intelligent 
face  and  attractive  bearing  at  once  give  evidence  of  his  unusual  natural  abilities. 

ANNA  M.  HIGLEY,  the  third  and  youngest  child  of  William  E.  and  Maria  A. 
(Miller)  Higley,  was  born  in  Becket,  Mass.,  January  4,  1870. 

Her  first  school  days  were  at  a  private  school  in  Becket.  She  pursued  her  studies 
and  was  graduated  at  the  Wesleyan  Academy,  Wilbraham,  Mass.  She  afterward 
taught  for  ten  school  terms. 

On  the  igth  of  March,  1891,  she  married  Fred  M.  Burleigh  of  Chester,  Mass.,  in 
which  town  they  now  reside. 

Continued  from  pagt  a88. 

PHILENA  HIGLEY,  the  fifth  child  of  Joseph  Higley,  2d,  and  Azu- 
bah  (Gillette)  Higley,  was  born  in  Becket,  Mass.,  November  6, 
1787.  She  married,  July  5,  1813,  John  Milton  Brewster,  M.  D., 


who  was  born  in  Becket,  Mass.,  October  22,  1789.  Dr.  Brewster 
was  one  of  the  most  eminent  physicians  of  his  State. 

The  following  sketch  was  furnished  by  a  descendant  : 

Philena  Higley  inherited  the  sterling  qualities  of  her  ancestry. 
Reared  in  a  quiet  New  England  town,  improving  the  advantages 
of  the  village  school,  and  imbibing  the  religious  sentiment  of  a 
Christian  home,  the  foundations  of  a  strong  character  were  laid. 

The  delicate  physique  and  refined  face  of  the  young  girl  con- 
cealed her  power  of  endurance.  When  Philena  was  fourteen 
years  of  age  her  mother  became  abed-ridden  invalid,  and  Philena 
was  called  to  fill  her  place.  Right  cheerfully  did  she  accept  the 
trust.  To  this  young  housekeeper  soon  came  another  charge — 
a  child  to  claim  her  care.  She  adopted  this  niece  (a  twin  daugh- 
ter of  her  brother  Silas),  who  was  ever  after  as  an  own  daughter. 

The  year  1813  brought  another  change  to  this  young  woman. 
Dr.  John  M.  Brewster,  a  native  of  the  same  town,  and  a  promising 
young  physician,  claimed  her  as  his  bride  and  took  her  to  their  new 
home,  the  adopted  niece  going  with  them. 

This  proved  an  eminently  Christian  home,  noted  for  its  hos- 
pitality and  resources  :  the  sick  were  relieved  ;  the  slave  found 
refuge;  and  the  sorrowful  were  always  comforted;  there  was 
always  room  for  the  stranger,  and  few  were  the  months  extending 
through  a  long  life  when  some  needy  person  was  not  sharing  Mrs. 
Brewster's  attention. 

There  are  to-day  many  men  of  prominence  who  speak  of  her  as 
"  mother,"  because  they  owe  their  success  in  life  to  her  encourage- 
ment and  advice. 

Her  daily  life  of  patience,  hope,  love,  and  charity  was  her  best 
teaching  ;  and  although  never  robust,  she  was  spared  to  her 
loved  ones  until  she  had  numbered  eighty-eight  years,  when  she 
passed  as  peacefully  away  as  a  little  child  lies  down  to  its  sleep. 
"Her  children  rise  up  and  call  her  blessed." 

Mrs.  Philena  Higley  Brewster  died  at  her  home  in  Pittsfield, 
Mass.,  January  21,  1876.  Her  husband,  Dr.  John  M.  Brewster, 
died  May  3,  1869. 

Children  of  Dr.  John  M.  and  Philena  Higley  Brewster  : 
Flavia  Jerusha,  born  June  20,  1814  ;  died  April  27,  1821.  Oliver 
Ellsworth,  born  January  30,  1816,  married  ;  died  Septem- 
ber 12,  1866.  John  Milton,  2d,  born  November  28,  1817,  married 

;  resides  in  Monson,  Mass.  Joseph  Higley,  born  January 

27,  1820,  married ;  resides  in  Monson,  Mass.  Flavia 



Jerusha,  2d,  born  May  23,  1822  ;  married  Franklin  W.  Gibbs  of 
Lee,  Mass.  Henry  Badger,  born  April  14,  1824,  resides  in  Pitts- 
field,  Mass.  William  Cullen,  born  May  n,  1827;  died  September 
19, 1847.  Sarah  Philena,  born  September  20,  1829;  married  Robert 
W.  Adam  of  Pittsfield,  Mass.  Mary  Minerva,  born  January  24, 
1832;  married  George  H.  Laflin  of  Chicago,  111.,  and  resides  in 
that  city. 

Continued  frontpage  288. 

MINERVA  HIGLEY,  the  sixth  and  youngest  child  of  Joseph 
Higley,  2d,  and  Azubah  Gillette,  was  born  in  Becket,  Mass., 
April  12,  1791.  She  married  Linius  Scott,  May  27,  1824,  the 
Rev.  J.  L.  Mills  officiating. 

On  the  22d  of  March,  1825,  she  gave  birth  to  a  son,  Joseph  Hig- 
ley, after  which  her  strength  never  rallied  ;  she  died  April  6,  1825. 

JOSEPH  HIGLEY  SCOTT,  her  only  child,  became  a  faithful  and  successful  clergy- 
man in  the  Presbyterian  Church.  He  removed  to  the  Western  Reserve,  where  he 
preached  for  many  years,  beloved  and  honored.  Metropolis,  111.,  was  afterward 
his  home,  where  he  died  after  an  illness  of  many  weeks,  leaving  a  family  with  a 
very  comfortable  living.  His  death  took  place  February  26,  1879.  The  funeral 
services  were  conducted  by  the  Rev.  S.  M.  Burton  of  Golconda,  111.,  assisted  by 
the  Rev.  B.  Y.  George  of  Cairo.  Mr.  Burton  preached  from  Revelations  xiv.  13. 

"  A  large  audience  of  sympathizing  friends  filled  the  church  in  which  Mr.  Scott  so 
long  and  faithfully  labored  as  pastor,  and  kind  hands  laid  tenderly  away  the 
remains  of  one  whom  they  will  ever  remember  with  affection,  for  his  genial  nature 
and  untiring  devotion  to  the  cause  of  Christ,  and  the  good  of  his  fellow-man.  Mr. 
Scott  was  a  marked  man — methodical  in  all  things,  he  accomplished,  without  any 
ostentation,  more  than  most  men  with  greater  strength  are  able  to  do.  Though  a 
quiet  man,  his  convictions  were  always  outspoken,  and  his  influence  for  good  in 
the  community  was  very  great.  He  will  long  be  remembered  by  a  community  who 
sympathize  with  his  family  for  their  great  loss,  and  who  sensibly  realize  that  one  of 
its  most  justly  honored  citizens  has  gone  to  a  sure  reward." 



Micah,  ist,  Captain  Joseph,  ist,  Brewster,  ist,  Captain  John  Higley. 

Continued  front  page  286. 

MICAH  HIGLEY,  the  second  son  of  Joseph  Higley,  ist,  and  his 
second  wife,  Sarah  Case,  was  born  at  Higley-town,  Simsbury, 
Conn.,  January  12,  1743.  He  married  Olive  Adams,  who  was  also 
of  Simsbury,  January  5,  1774. 

On  the  3oth  of  the  previous  November,  1773,  Micah  Higley 
purchased  a  home  in  Becket,  Mass.,  "  House  lot,  No.  44,"  for  the 
"  sum  of  ;£6o. "  His  father  having  also  set  apart  land  for  his  sons 
in  Becket,  Micah  and  his  wife  removed  here  soon  after  their 
marriage.  They  owned  and  settled  on  lot  No.  48. 

His  sister  Sarah,  who  had  married  James  Rudd  less  than  two 
months  previously,  also  removed  with  her  husband  to  Becket, 
the  two  families  living  neighbors. 

The  married  life  of  Micah  and  Olive  Higley  was  cut  short  in  a 
little  less  than  five  years  by  a  distressing  accident.  On  the 
morning  of  December  19,  1778,  a  light  snow  having  fallen  in  the 
night,  Micah  and  his  brother-in-law,  Mr.  Rudd,  went  to  the 
woods  to  shoot  deer,  neither  of  them  knowing  that  the  other  was 
out.  Micah  wore  a  deer-skin  cap.  Mr.  Rudd,  while  stealthily 
watching  about,  caught  glimpse  of  a  moving  object  behind  a 
fallen  tree  top,  and  supposing  it  to  be  a  deer,  took  aim  and  dis- 
charged his  gun.  To  his  horror  on  approaching  his  game,  as 
he  thought,  he  discovered  that  he  had  shot  and  killed  his  brother- 
in-law,  Micah  Higley.  The  fatal  accident  caused  a  great  shock 
to  the  neighbors  and  friends,  and  plunged  Mr.  Rudd  into  bitter 
emotions,  but  regrets  were  fruitless. 

The  interment  took  place  in  the  old  Becket  burial-ground. 
The  tombstone  bears  this  inscription  : 

flfcfcab  f>f0leg 

wbo  was  sbot  an&  Ofefc  instantlg 
Dec  10tb  1778 
35  gears. 


His  widow,  Olive  (Adams)  Higley,  was  left  with  two  young 
sons,  Micah,  Jr.,  born  January  25,  1776,  and  Benjamin,  born 
November  30,  1777. 

She  married,  October  n,  1779,  Elijah  Alford,  Jr.  (see  p.  177), 
who  was  cousin  to  her  husband,  and  in  1811  removed  to  Wind- 
ham,  Portage  County,  O. ,  where  they  brought  up  a  family  of  six 
children.  She  died  September  16,  1827,  near  Windham.  Her 
grave  is  marked  by  a  tombstone  in  the  Windham  cemetery. 

The  birth  of  Micah  Higley,  Jr.,  son  of  Micah  Higley  and  Olive 
Adams,  is  found  upon  the  Records  at  Becket,  Mass.,  as  follows  : 

"  Micah  Higley,  son  of  Micah  and  Olive  Higley,  born  in  Becket,  February  9,  1776." 

He  was  baptized  July  2,  1786.  The  same  Town  Records  an- 
nounce his  marriage  thus: 

"Micah  Higley  and  Mehitable  May  Bowen  married  at  Becket,  Sept.  i3th,  1703." 

Mehitable  M.  Bowen  was  born  in  Roxbury,  Mass.,  January  8, 


On  the  i2th  of  May,  1808,  they  were  together  admitted  to  the 
church  in  Becket  in  full  membership. 

On  the  death  of  their  grandfather,  Joseph  Higley,  ist,  in  1790, 
Micah  and  his  brother  Benjamin  received  a  legacy  of  lands  at 
Becket,  where  Micah  and  his  wife  then  resided,  and  where  the 
five  eldest  of  their  family  of  ten  children  were  born. 

In  June,  1816,  they  removed  to  Augusta,  N.  Y.,  then  to  Whites- 
boro,  Oneida  County,  in  that  State.  Here  they  lived  till  the 
summer  of  1833,  when  they  removed  to  Windham,  Portage 
County,  O.  Here  they  were  received  into  the  church  by  letter 
from  New  York  Mills,  N.  Y.,  October  17,  1833. 

Micah  Higley  died  May  14,  1841.  His  wife  died  January  20, 
1839.  They  were  buried  in  the  Windham  cemetery.  Their 
children:  Cumberland  W.,  Ebenezer,  Abigail  Smith,  Olive,  Martha 
Porter,  Mary  W.  and  Eliza  Bowen — twins,  Harriet  Newell,  Eunice 
Washburn,  and  Henry. 

CUMBERLAND  W.,  born  in  Becket,  Mass.,  December  7,  1805.  In  1826  he  went 
afoot  from  Madison  County,  N.  Y.,  to  Portage  County,  O.,  making  the  journey  in 
thirty  days.  He  carried  a  gun  on  his  shoulder,  with  which  he  supported  himself 
the  most  of  the  way.  He  died  of  malarial  fever  at  Windham,  O.,  October  12, 
1827.  He  never  married. 

EBENEZER,  the  second  son  of  Micah  Higley,  Jr.,  was  born  in  Becket,  Mass., 
June  25,  1807.  He  was  an  earnest  Presbyterian.  While  pursuing  his  theological 
studies  at  Lane  Seminary,  Cincinnati,  O.,  intending  to  enter  the  ministry,  he  con- 


traded  a  severe  cold,  which  ended  in  consumption.  He  finished  his  course  of 
study,  but  never  was  able  to  enter  the  pulpit.  He  died  November  15,  1837. 

ABIGAIL  SMITH  HIGLEY,  third  child  of  Micah  Higley,  Jr.,  born  at  Becket,  Mass., 
June  6,  1809,  married  John  H.  Clark  at  Windham,  O.,  March  4,  1839.  Lives  at 
Bell  Centre,  Wis.  Children  : 

Florilla,  married Davis,  and  lives  in  Patch  Grove,  Wis.      Theodore  IV., 

who  served  in  the  Union  Army  in  a   Wisconsin  regiment  during  the  Civil  War ; 

resides  at  Bell  Centre,  Wis.     Mary,  married Russell,  and,  second,  John 

Harmon,  who  resides  in  Arizona. 

OLIVE  HIGLEY,  the  fourth  child  of  Micah  Higley,  Jr.,  born  February  22,  1812, 
at  Becket ;  died  at  Windham,  O.,  February  6,  1841  ;  unmarried. 

MARTHA  PORTER  HIGLEY,  the  fifth  child  of  Micah  Higley,  Jr.,  born  in  Becket, 
January  29,  1815;  married  Charles  Curtiss,  January  22,  1845  ;  died  of  cancer,  Sep- 
tember 9,  1873.  Children : 

Ar delta  Lee,  born  December  10,  1845  ;  married  Severus  Hoard,  September  3, 

1868.     Marcus,  born  December  14,  1847  ;  married ,  lives  at   Leroy,  Mich. 

Augustus  H.,  born  May  20,  1850,  lives  at  Scott,  Van  Wirt  County,  O.  Katie 
Augusta,  born  October  5,  1852;  married  Benjamin  C.  Roberts,  March  6,  1879  ;  lives 
at  Rich  wood,  Union  County,  O.  Gains,  born  February  6,  1857  ;  lives  at  Galena, 
Delaware  County,  O. 

MARY  WILLIAMS  HIGLEY,  a  twin,  and  the  sixth  child  of  Micah  Higley,  Jr.,  born 
at  Augusta,  N.  Y.,  September  18,  1816,  married  Benjamin  B.  Clark  at  Windham, O., 
1836.  He  died  1845.  Second  marriage  to  Samuel  W.  Forman  of  Newton  Falls, 
O.,  February  17,  1847.  She  died  May  3,  1887,  at  Braceville,  O.  Children  by 
first  husband: 

JOHN  B.,  born  April  10,  1838,  married  Elizabeth  A.  Price,  February,  1867.  He 
was  four  years  in  the  Civil  War,  Company  D,  6th  Ohio  Volunteer  Cavalry.  Re- 
sides in  Big  Rapids,  Mich. 

LOUISA  M.,  born  February  8,  1842,  married,  first,  1859,  Earl  B.  Johnson,  who 
served  during  the  war  on  General  Kirby  Smith's  staff,  and  died,  1865,  at  Shreveport, 
La.;  married,  second,  A.  R.  Russell  of  Newton  Falls,  O.,  April,  1867,  where  she 
now  resides. 

Children  by  second  marriage  : 

FRANCES  LEVINA,  born  November  19,  1847,  at  Green,  O. ;  married  Cyrus  L. 
North  of  Braceville,  O.,  November  I,  1870.  Cyrus  L.  North  served  in  the  Union 
Army  during  the  Civil  War.  They  have  two  daughters,  twins,  Jessie  M.  and 
Grace  C.,  born  May  19,  1875.  They  reside  at  Braceville,  O. 

CATHERINE  ELIZA,  born  November  16,  1849  ;  married,  January  3,  1877,  Thomas 
W.  Harrison,  who  died  July  20,  1883,  at  Lapeer,  Mich.;  married,  second,  at  Big 
Rapids,  Mich.,  Stewart  Gorton,  August  5,  1884.  Mr.  Gorton  served  three  years  in 
the  Union  Army  during  the  Civil  War.  They  reside  at  Luzerne,  Mich.  Children  : 

Mark  P.  Harrison,  born  January  29,  1878  ;  died  December  19,  1880,  and  an 
infant  son,  who  was  born  and  died  July  8,  1879. 

EMMA  ORMSBY,  born  April  4,  1854  ;  married,  April  19,  1882,  Newton  B. 
Allen.  They  have  two  sons,  Charles  Wallace  and  Arthur  Newton.  Reside  at 
Braceville,  O. 

CHARLES  EDWARD,  born  June  27,  1857;  died  unmarried,  April  5,  1882,  at  Brace- 
ville, O. 

ELIZA  BOWEN  HIGLEY,  a  twin,  and  the  sixth  child  of  Micah  Higley,  born  Sep- 


tember  iS,  1816,  resided  at  Wellington,  O.  Her  church  letter  was  received  at  the 
Windham  Church,  from  Whitesboro,  N.  Y.,  January  2,  1834.  She  had  one  child  ; 

Samuel  N.  Alford,  born  in  Braceville,  O.,  1842.     Resides  at  Puget  Sound. 

HARRIET  NEWELL,  the  eighth  child  of  Micah  Higley,  Jr.,  born  at  Augusta,  N.  Y., 
August  6,  1819  ;  married  William  Russell,  April  10,  1841.  She  died  June  9,  1877. 
They  had  six  sons  and  one  daughter,  six  of  whom  are  living  ;  no  data  furnished. 
One  of  the  sons,  Luman  Russell,  served  three  years  in  the  Union  Army  in  a 
Wisconsin  regiment. 

EUNICE  WASHBURN,  the  ninth  child  of  Micah  Higley,  Jr.,  born  Augusta,  N.  Y., 
October  17,  1821  ;  married,  April  7,  1845,  Nathaniel  E.  Marcy.  They  reside  at 
Wellington,  O.,  being  among  the  early  settlers  of  the  town,  and  among  its  most  esti- 
mable citizens.  Mr.  Marcy  was  active  and  outspoken  in  the  Abolition  cause  in  its 
early  agitation,  and  voted  one  of  the  first  two  ballots  cast  in  the  town  against  the 
slavery  question,  which  was  then  "  mastering  American  politics."  In  their  home 
they  hospitably  received  and  entertained  many  of  the  reformers  and  prominent  lec- 
turers in  the  anti-slavery  cause.  Nathaniel  E.  Marcy  died  July  15, 1887.  Children  : 

ADELBERT  EDWIN  MARCY  born  August  2,  1846,  enlisted  in  the  4ist  Ohio 
Volunteer  Infantry  at  the  breaking  out  of  the  war,  when  only  fifteen  years  of  age, 
serving  one  year,  when  he  was  discharged  for  disability.  He  afterward  re-enlisted 
in  the  2d  Ohio  Volunteer  Cavalry,  and  served  till  the  close  of  the  war.  He  gained 
high  laurels  as  a  scout.  Married  Mary  Nash,  April,  1872.  They  have  three  sons  : 
Kenneth  Edwin,  George,  and  Chalmer.  Reside  in  Wellington,  O. 

WILLIAM  LLOYD  GARRISON  MARCY,  the  second  son,  was  born  March  18,  1848. 
In  his  fifteenth  year,  1863,  he  enlisted  in  the  86th  Ohio  Volunteer  Infantry  regi- 
ment of  six  months'  men.  While  doing  picket  duty,  on  a  bitter  cold  winter's  night, 
January  I,  1864,  his  feet  were  frozen  to  his  ankles,  from  the  effects  of  which, 
after  much  suffering,  he  died  in  nineteen  days  at  Camp  Nelson,  Ky.  He  was 
interred  at  Wellington,  O. 

LORIN,  born  October  6,  1850,  died  aged  ten  months. 

LAURA  PHEDYMA,  born  May  17,  1852,  married  Charles  Manville,  January  30, 
1872.  He  died  October  17,  1886.  They  had  children  : 

Harry  Chester,  Mabel  Ella,  and  Leon  Jerome,     Reside  in  La  Grange,  O. 

ELLA  IRENE,  the  last  child  of  Nathaniel  and  Eunice  W.  (Higley)  Marcy,  born 
September  12,  1854,  married  E.  Chauncey  Fowles,  April  19,  1883,  and  resides  in 
Cleveland,  O. 

HENRY  HIGLEY,  the  third  son  and  youngest  child  of  Micah  Higley,  Jr.,  born  at 
Augusta,  N.  Y.,  married,  September  7,  1850,  Abbie  L.  Bugden  of  Andover,  O. 
They  reside  at  New  Windsor,  111.  Mr.  Higley  is  well-to-do  in  the  world.  He 
was  at  one  time  engaged  in  the  boot  and  shoe  business,  but  for  twenty  years  has 
been  a  farmer. 

His  wife,  Abbie  L.  Bugden,  is  a  bright,  noble-hearted  woman,  of  genial  tempera- 
ment, and  possessing  a  highly  poetic  nature,  with  considerable  talent  for  giving  it 
expression.  Her  mother,  Martha  Upham  Wade,  was  the  daughter  of  James 
Wade,  a  soldier  of  the  Revolution,  who  emigrated  to  Ashtabula County, 'Ohio,  from 
Massachusetts,  and  sister  to  the  late  distinguished  senator  from  Ohio,  the  Hon. 
Benjamin  F.  Wade.  Her  father  was  William  Bugden,  a  native  of  Wethersfield, 
Conn.,  who  emigrated  from  Sharon,  Conn.,  to  Ohio,  during  Mrs.  Higley's  infancy. 

Mrs.  Higley  composed  a  strikingly  appropriate  poem  for  the  Higley  reunion  of 
1887,  held  at  Ashtabula  County,  Ohio,  which  met  with  much  acceptance  on  that 
interesting  occasion.  (See  appendix.) 


Colonel  Benjamin,  Micah,  ist,  Captain  Joseph,  ist,  Brewster,  ist,  Captain  John  Higley. 

Men  of  great  integrity  and  purity  of  life,  who  have  no  thought  of  pushing  into  any  ambitious 
sphere,  but  only  of  doing  with  all  their  might  the  work  which  their  hands  find  to  do,  are  the  salt 
of  society,  the  strength  of  a  nation,  and  it  is  not  well  that  such  should  be  forgot. — GREV. 

BENJAMIN  HIGLEY,  son  of  Micah  and  Olive  (Adams)  Higley, 
was  born  at  Becket,  Mass.,  November  30,  1777.  His  baptism, 
with  that  of  his  only  brother,  Micah,  Jr.,  is  entered  upon  the 
register  of  the  Becket  Church  as  having  taken  place  July  2,  1786. 

When  an  infant  but  one  year  old  he  was  deprived  of  paternal 
care  by  the  accidental  and  sudden  death  of  his  father;  he  had, 
however,  careful  training  and  admonition  under  his  stepfather's 
guidance,  Elijah  Alford,  3d,1  who  was  his  father's  cousin,  and 
whom  his  mother  married  the  year  following  the  decease  of  the 

There  is  but  little  placed  before  us  to  make  us  familiar  with 
the  earliest  years  of  his  life.  As  far  as  is  known  his  education 
was  received  at  the  county  school,  and  though,  during  his  day, 
there  was  a  growing  indifference  and  degeneracy  in  the  cause  of 
education,  he  acquired  a  fair  knowledge  of  the  common  branches. 

But  the  life  of  the  clear-headed  man  of  after  years,  endowed 
with  brain  as  well  as  sinew,  possessing  wisdom,  tact,  and  enter- 
prise, guided  in  his  daily  acting  and  living  by  the  true  spirit  of 
the  Sermon  on  the  Mount,  plainly  indicated  that  his  childhood 
surroundings  had  been  such  as  developed  the  higher  qualities  of 
a  manly  nature. 

Lives  such  as  the  subject  of  this  sketch  are  an  exhortation  to 
honesty  of  purpose  and  integrity;  they  stood  for  right,  and  have 
exercised  an  influence  lasting  and  fruitful. 

The  Becket  Town  Records  show  that  Benjamin  Higley  entered 
his  active  career  as  a  teacher,  having  taught  the  district  school 
for  several  terms.  In  1804  he  was  chosen  one  of  the  school 

1  Elijah  Alford,  zd,  was  the  son  of  Elijah,  Sr.,  and  Hannah  Higley  Alford  of  Becket,  Mass, 
(see  page  177). 


committeemen  for  the  town.  From  his  early  manhood  he  was 
ever  after  an  earnest  supporter  of  the  cause  of  education.  The 
same  year  he  was  elected  constable  of  Becket. 

On  the  i6th  of  September,  1802,  he  married  Sally  McKown, 
who  was  born  in  Norwich,  Conn.,  March  10,  1773.  The  young 
couple  settled  in  Becket  on  farming  lands  owned  by  Benjamin 
Higley;  and  on  the  6th  of  September,  1807,  "Benjamin  and  Sally 
Higley  "  were  together  "  admitted  into  full  membership  in  the 

Soon  after  establishing  a  home  of  their  own  they  took  under 
their  care  and  shelter  an  orphan,  six  years  of  age,  named  Eli 
Case,  to  whom  they  were  foster-parents  till  he  reached  his 

In  the  summer  of  1810  a  number  of  the  residents  of  Becket 
became  greatly  stirred  by  the  description  which  was  given  by  one 
Captain  Mills,  of  an  unoccupied  township  in  that  large  tract  of 
land  then  known  as  the  Connecticut  Western  Reserve  in  the  new 
State  of  Ohio.  Captain  Mills  had  already  emigrated  to  Nelson, 
the  township  just  north  of  it,  and  had  returned  on  a  visit  to  his 
native  town  in  old  Berkshire.  The  township  described  by  him 
was  No.  4,  range  6. 

The  report  led  to  much  discussion,  and  resulted  in  the  proposi- 
tion made  by  three  or  four  neighbors  to  Benjamin  Higley,  that 
they  would  work  for  him  one,  day  each  if  he  would  go  to  North- 
ampton (Mass.),  and  confer  with  Governor  Strong,  the  principal 
owner  of  the  tract,  concerning  his  willingness  to  sell,  and  learn 
the  terms  of  purchase. 

This  service  Mr.  Higley  promptly  attended  to,  making  the  trip 
the  first  week  in  July,  1810.  He  returned,  bringing  a  good  report 
from  Governor  Strong. 

Having  now  a  young  family  of  three  sons,  whose  future  he  con- 
sidered, with  that  of  their  adopted  boy,  and  feeling  assured  that 
on  reaching  manhood  they  would  not  remain  on  the  rocky  farm- 
lands of  the  Becket  hills,  together  with  being,  no  doubt,  prompted 
somewhat  by  the  land  speculative  spirit  which  had  swept  over 
Connecticut,  Mr.  Higley  favorably  decided  upon  the  serious 
undertaking  of  removal  westward. 

Some  weeks  after  the  date  above  mentioned,  on  the  loth  of 
September,  1810,  a  number  of  men  came  together  at  the  house  of 
Thatcher  Conant  in  Becket,  and  entered  into  contract  "to  pay 
their  equal  proportion  of  the  expenses  of  exploring  and  viewing 


this  township  of  land  in  '  New  Connecticut,'  to  be  paid  over  to 
the  agents  of  the  Company." 

Benjamin  Higley  was  one  of  the  signers  of  the  contract.  His 
stepfather,  Elijah  Alford,  acted  as  clerk  of  the  meeting.  It  was 

"  Voted,  that  Dillingham  Clark  Esqr.  and  Jeremiah  Lyman  be  agents  to  Explore 
Said  Township,"  etc. 

These  two  men  immediately  set  off  on  horseback  for  that 
densely  wooded  wilderness.  Having  performed  the  journey  by 
the  3ist  of  October,  a  meeting  was  held  at  the  house  of  Elijuh 
Alford  to  hear  their  report,  which  being  favorable,  Mr.  Clark  was 
appointed  to  apply  to  Governor  Strong  for  the  privilege  of 
purchase;  and  at  a  subsequent  meeting,  held  November  3,  a  com- 
mittee was  chosen  to  devise  a  plan  for  dividing  the  township,  if 

The  negotiations  with  Governor  Strong  having  been  satis- 
factorily completed,  which  included  the  appraisal  of  the  farms 
and  real  estate  belonging  to  the  purchasers  in  Becket,  to  be 
turned  in  by  them  toward  payment  for  the  township,  an  exchange 
of  deeds  by  the  agents  of  the  company  was  ordered  at  a  meeting 
held  November  27,  1810. 

This  tract  of  wild  land  contained  "  14,845  acres  more  or  less," 
and  was  purchased  at  $1.76  per  acre.1 

Having  now  obtained  the  township  they  next  preceeded  to 
apportion  it  among  the  members  of  the  company,  and  assign  to 
each  individual  his  particular  share.  This  was  done  by  lot.  By 
the  i$th  of  March,  1811,  the  proprietors  received  their  deeds,  and 
discharged  their  agents.  Except  Dillingham  Clark,  who  invested 
the  largest  amount  of  money  and  drew  much  the  largest  quantity 
of  land,  the  stepfather  and  son,  Elijah  Alford  and  Benjamin 
Higley,  drew  the  largest  shares. 

The  value  of  the  deed  received  by  Benjamin  Higley  was  $2040. 
His  original  share,  together  with  that  of  a  separate  purchase  made 
by  his  wife,  amounted  to  1227  acres.  To  this  he  added  by 
exchange  and  purchase,  making  the  whole  number  of  acres  which 
he  obtained  more  than  thirteen  hundred. 

The  company  reserved  half  of  lot  56,  near  the  center  of  the 

1  The  names  of  the  original  purchasers  were :  Dillingham  Clark,  Benjamin  Higley,  Elijah 
Alford,  Jeremiah  Lyman,  Enos  Kinsley,  Bille  Messenger,  Ebenezer  N.  Messenger,  Aaron  P. 
Jagger,  John  Seley,  Nathan  Birchard,  Elisha  Clark,  Benjamin  C.  Perkins,  Alpheus  Streator, 
Thatcher  Conant,  Gideon  Brush,  Isaac  Clark,  Oliver  Brewster,  and  Spencer  Clark. 


township,  for  "a  public  green,  a  burial-ground,  and  the  use  of  a 

Arrangements  having  been  finally  concluded,  several  of  the 
families  began  to  look  toward  immediate  removal,  each  family 
consulting  its  own  convenience  as  to  the  time  of  beginning  the 
journey.  Fully  believing  in  the  ordinances  of  religion  and  in  the 
rich  advantages  and  benefits  of  church  organization,  a  party  of 
eleven  of  those  who  proposed  to  emigrate  decided  to  organize  a 
church  before  starting,  and  on  the  2d  of  May,  1811,  a  meeting 
was  held  in  the  old  First  Congregationalist  meeting-house  in 
Becket,  for  that  purpose.1 

A  written  request  was  presented,  signed  by  the  parties  "  desir- 
ing to  be  dismissed  with  the  design  to  be  formed  into  a  separate 
church  before  their  removal." 

The  persons  named  were  :  Deacon  Elijah  Alford  and  Olive,  his 
wife,  Thatcher  Conant  and  Elizabeth,  his  wife,  Benjamin  Higley 
and  Sally,  his  wife,  Jeremiah  Lyman  and  Rhoda,  his  wife,  Ruth 
Alford,  daughter  of  Deacon  Elijah  Alford,  Susannah  Conant,  and 
Anna  Streator. 

All  of  the  above,  it  is  stated,  were  "in  regular  standing  and 
full  communion." 

After  giving  the  subject  deep  consideration  and  prayer  the 
ministers  present  unanimously  gave  their  permission  for  the  pro- 
posed measure,  and  dismissed  the  applicants  from  their  immediate 
relationship  with  the  Becket  church. 

The  parties  above  named  then  "  having  taken  upon  themselves 
the  Confession  of  faith  and  Convenant,"  were  publicly  formed 
and  installed  as  a  regular  Church  of  Christ,  Deacon  Elijah  Alford 
was  chosen  as  standing  moderator  and  deacon  of  the  new 

This  infant  church  they  transplanted  to  the  leafy  solitudes  of 
nature  in  the  wild  forest  of  Ohio,  and  it  is  now  the  First  Congre- 
gational Church  of  Windham,  Portage  County. 

Early  in  June  (1811)  six  families  of  the  emigrants  set  out — 
"Westward  ho!"  The  Higleys  had  a  canvas-covered  wagon 
which  was  laden  with  their  beds  and  bedding  for  camping  out, 
together  with  cooking  utensils  for  camp-fires,  and  other  essentials, 
two  horses,  a  yoke  of  oxen,  and  two  cows.  They  were  thirty- 

1  The  ministers  present  at  this  meeting  were  the  Rev.  Joseph  L.  Mills  of  Becket,  Rev.  William 
Gay  Ballentine  of  Washington,  Mass.,  Rev.  Alvin  Hyde  of  Lee,  and  Rev.  Jonathan  Nash  of 


seven  days  making  the  journey,  arriving  at  their  destination  July 
15.  The  families,  not  all  keeping  pace  with  each  other,  arrived 
on  different  dates.  From  a  well-draughted  plot  each  man  knew 
just  where  his  lands  lay.  For  temporary  shelter  Benjamin  Higley 
with  his  family  occupied  a  rough  log  house  built  from  trees,  which 
had  been  felled  by  his  two  half  brothers,  Elijah  Alford,  3d,  and 
Oliver  Alford,  assisted  by  two  young  men  named  Messenger,  be- 
longing to  families  of  the  proprietors,  who  had  preceded  the  emi- 
grants in  March  and  erected  a  rude  structure  on  lot  No.  84.' 
But  the  Messengers  had  returned  to  Becket  late  in  the  spring, 
greatly  discouraged  with  the  prospects. 

The  dense  forests  covered  the  face  of  their  surrounding  world. 
All  nature  was  wild.  Except  one  Indian  trail  through  the 
thickets  near  the  northern  border  of  the  township,  there  was  not 
even  a  pathway  of  access  from  one  point  to  another.  And  the 
whole  country  teemed  with  deer,  bears,  and  wolves,  with  innumer- 
able lesser  game  of  every  variety,  and  reptiles  of  many  kinds. 

The  struggle  of  life  with  their  environments  now  began  with 
the  emigrants  in  serious  earnest;  but  courageously  and  with 
energy  and  capacity  both  men  and  women  gave  their  full  contri- 
bution toward  civilization.  They  laid  the  ax  at  the  roots  of  the 
great  trees  with  fresh  blood  and  strong  muscle,  and  began  clear- 
ing a  space  in  which  to  begin  farming  operations. 

Later  in  the  season,  1811,  Benjamin  Higley  sowed  a  small  patch 
of  wheat  on  lot  No.  84,  on  a  partial  clearing  in  the  woods  which 
the  Indians  "had  used.  This  was  the  first  wheat  that  was  raised 
in  the  township.  From  three  bushels  of  seed  sown  upon  four 
acres,  one  hundred  bushels  of  wheat  were  harvested  the  following 

Benjamin  Higley  early  constructed  a  substantial  dwelling  of 
logs  on  lot  No.  36,  near  the  center  of  the  township,  and  near  the 
present  site  of  the  village  of  Windham,  to  which  he  removed.  It 
was  a  well-watered,  fertile  section,  on  which  is  an  exhaustless, 
beautiful  spring  of  pure  soft  water.  This  spot  was  his  home 
fifty-seven  years,  till  the  close  of  his  long  and  useful  life. 

Mr.  Higley's  was  the  third  family  from  Becket  that  arrived  in 

1  The  original  plot  of  lots  drawn  by  the  proprietors  show  that  one  half  of  No.  84,  containing  75 
acres,  was  drawn  by  Benjamin  Higley.  He  afterward  sold  the  same  to  Elijah  Alford,  with  other 
land,  as  shown  by  the  land  records,  for  the  consideration  of  $257. — "  Windham  Town  Record" 
PP-  13.  !$• 

a  The  Indians  had  all  removed  west  of  the  Cuyahoga  River  previous  to  1811.  They  joined  the 
British  in  the  war  of  1812.  The  remains  of  an  Indian  village  on  the  bottom  lands  of  Windham 
township  were  to  be  seen  for  many  years  after  the  settlers  came. 


the  township.  By  the  last  of  July  the  little  colony  comprised 
eight  families,  a  family  from  the  neighboring  township  of  Nelson 
having  joined  them. 

On  Sunday  the  28th  of  July,  1811,  the  little  church  in  the 
wilderness  held  its  first  service.  It  was  a  memorable  day. 

"  Although  it  is  always  Sunday  in  a  vast  solitude  like  this, 
except  in  storm  and  earthquake,  it  now  seemed  all  the  more  quiet 
and  serene.  The  church  doors  were  wide  open;  the  grand 
cathedral  aisles  were  full  of  light  and  beauty,  soft  and  entrancing, 
leading  the  soul  up  along  the  mighty  columns  of  evergreen  life 
to  the  blue  apse  of  heaven."  The  still  small  voice  of  the  Eternal 
whispered  to  every  heart. 

The  echo  of  song  rang  through  the  solemn  and  mysterious 
forests  in  strange  harmony  with  the  music  of  the  trees.  There 
were  forty-two  persons  present;  and  from  that  date  forward, 
though  they  were  without  roads,  without  bridges,  and  constantly 
forced  to  meet  numberless  difficulties  and  inconveniences,  as 
Sabbath  after  Sabbath  came  around,  they  never  failed  to  meet 
together  for  public  worship. 

A  month  later  the  settlement  was  visited  by  the  Rev.  Nathan 
B.  Darrow,  who  was  sent  out  by  the  Connecticut  Missionary 
Society.  He  preached  the  first  sermon  to  which  they  listened  in 
their  isolation,  taking  for  his  text  : 

"  For  the  Lord's  portion  is  his  people;  Jacob  is  the  lot  of  his 
inheritance.  He  found  him  in  a  desert  land,  and  in  the  waste 
howling  wilderness."  ' 

Mr.  Darrow  administered  the  holy  communion  the  first  Sabbath 
in  September,  which  was  received  by  sixteen  communicants. 
Fifty  years  afterward  Benjamin  Higley  stood  the  only  living 
member  who  was  present  on  that  day,  and  but  two  others  were 
inhabitants  of  earth. 

Early  in  October  (1811)  his  stepfather,  Deacon  Elijah  Alford 
with  his  mother,  Olive,  and  their  family,  arrived.  They  made  a 
temporary  stay  in  the  log  house  on  lot  84,"  the  first  house  built  in 
the  settlement,  and  finally  settled  there  permanently. 

The  first  regularly  held  town  meeting  was  held  on  the  24th  of 
October.  Benjamin  Higley  was  chosen  to  preside.  The  busi- 
ness proceedings  concerned  the  very  genesis  of  the  town.  A 
committee  was  appointed  "to  erect  corner  posts,  marking  the 

1  Deuteronomy  xxxii.  o, 10. 

*  This  lot  has  been  the  home  of  Elijah  Alford's  descendants  for  three  generations. 


boundaries  to  the  lots."  It  being  essential  that  the  farmers  and 
producers  should  at  once  have  roads,  Benjamin  Higley  and 
Alpheus  Streator  were  made  a  committee  to  petition  the  commis- 
sioners that  a  committee  be  appointed  to  "  lay  them  out."  From 
this  time,  for  more  than  a  quarter  of  a  century,  Mr.  Higley  was 
notably  associated  with  the  construction  of  highways,  and  in 
advancing  improved  means  for  transit. 

The  town  was  at  first  called  by  the  proprietors  Strongsburgh,  in 
honor  of  Governor  Caleb  Strong  of  Massachusetts.  Later  on — 
March  n,  1812 — it  was  formally  named  "Sharon" — a  Biblical 
name,  by  which  it  was  known  eight  years.  In  1820,  by  enactment 
of  the  State  Legislature,  it  was  changed  to  its  present  name — 
Windham. ' 

From  the  beginnings  of  the  town  Benjamin  Higley  was  inspired 
with  the  great  need  of  a  school  system,  and  always  bore  in  mind 
its  large  usefulness  and  strong  influence  in  character  building. 
His  early  teaching  days  had  left  their  impress  of  its  imperative 
importance.  Being  elected  one  of  the  first  three  trustees  of  the 
township,  it  lay  within  his  compass  to  do  much  toward  the  advance- 
ment of  educational  interests,  and  from  the  first  he  never  faltered 
in  his  steadfast  and  loyal  support  of  public  instruction.  A  school 
was  opened  in  a  private  house  the  first  winter,  and  early  in  the 
winter  of  1812-13  a  l°g  schoolhouse,  which  was  the  first  public 
building  erected  in  the  town,  was  built.  From  that  time  the 
town  has  always  sustained  excellent  schools  of  the  common  and 
high  school  grades. 

The  year  following  Benjamin  Higley's  arrival  in  Ohio  came 
the  formal  declaration  of  war,  1812.  By  Hull's  cowardly  sur- 
render the  scattered  border  settlements  were  at  the  mercy  of  the 
treacherous  Indians,  being  entirely  unable  to  make  defense 
against  them.  The  little  colony  at  Sharon  was  thrown  into 
great  apprehension  and  distress.  It  is  stated  that  "every  man 
ran  to  his  arms,"  quitting  his  heavy  labor  of  clearing  the  forests 
and  preparation  for  seed-sowing. 

On  the  23d  of  August  of  that  year,  just  at  nightfall,  a  messenger 
rode  into  the  settlement,  with  military  orders  for  all  the  able- 
bodied  men  to  march  at  daybreak  with  their  muskets,  ammunition, 
and  rations,  destined  to  Cleveland  forty  miles  distant.  Cleveland 

1  This  township  was  "set  off"  from  Hiram  township,  April  5,  1813.  It  was  many  years  before 
school  districts  were  formed,  or  school  commissioners  appointed.  "  January  2,  1806,  three  Trustees 
and  a  Treasurer  were  authorized  to  Deflected  in  each  township  for  the  purpose  of  taking  charge  of 
the  school  lands  or  the  moneys  arising  therefrom."—"  History  a/  Portage  County,  Ohio"  p.  302. 


was  then  on  the  frontier.  Devoting  the  night  to  the  hasty  prepar- 
ation of  rations,  "  cleaning  hunting  rifles,  sharpening  their  knives, 
and  filling  their  powder  horns  and  bullet  pouches  with  ammu- 
nition," in  the  early  morning  they  left  their  wives  and  families,  in 
a  desperate  fright,  to  defend  themselves  against  the  maurauding 
Indian  depredators  and  the  bears  and  wolves  of  the  dark  woods, 
directing  that  in  case  the  American  forces  were  defeated  they 
should  promptly  flee  to  the  nearest  settlement  and  fortify  them- 
selves against  attacks  of  the  savages.  The  military  tendency  of 
Benjamin  Higley  was  strong;  a  gift  bestowed  by  legacy  upon  him 
by  his  ancestors  of  four  generations.  He  now  made  no  hesitation 
at  shouldering  arms  and  facing  the  situation.  He  went  into  camp, 
and  was  elected  sergeant  of  the  ist  Battalion,  2d  Regiment, 
4th  Brigade,  Ohio  Militia.1 

On  the  troops  reaching  the  front,  "  so  general  had  been  the 
uprising  that  the  Major-General  commanding  gave  directions 
that  half  the  volunteers  should  be  sent  home  to  act  as  a  reserve 
or  a  second  guard  in  case  of  emergency."  Many  of  the  men 
returned  in  ten  days,  the  immediate  cause  of  the  alarm  having 
proved  not  well  founded.  It  is  not  definitely  known  how  long 
Sergeant  Benjamin  Higley  was  absent,  or  how  often  he  was 
called  into  active  service  during  this  war. 

On  the  6th  of  May,  1813,  another  serious  alarm  was  given. 
That  summer  "  every  able-bodied  man  in  Portage  County,  not 
then  in  active  service  or  on  parole,  was  ordered  to  Cleveland,  and 
the  scattered  settlements  were  again  left  defenseless."* 

An  interesting  old  manuscript  relates  that  "the  people  of 
Sharon  suffered  in  the  general  calamity.  Many  who  were  sum- 
moned to  the  field  of  defense  were  gone  for  months  at  a  time, 
others  for  an  indefinite  period,  according  to  the  emergency.  In 
these  sudden  frays  fear  seized  on  every  soul.  By  the  close  of 
the  year  some  suffered  for  want  of  provisions  which  were  scarce 
and  high-priced,  the  men  having  turned  their  attention  to  the 
war,  the  yield  of  the  small  fields  which  had  been  cleared  were  light 
owing  to  the  scanty  seed  sowing." 

The  announcement  by  Perry  of  his  glorious  victory,  Septem- 
ber 10,  1813,  "We  have  met  the  enemy  and  they  are  ours,"  was 
received  by  the  affrighted  and  anxious  inhabitants  with  pro- 
foundestjoy,  through  "an  excited  horseman  who  dashed  into  the 

1  Whether  he  had  joined  the  Ohio  militia  previous  to  the  war  has  not  been  ascertained. 
8  "  History  of  Portage  County,  Ohio,"  p.  281. 


settlement  blowing  a  horn  and  conveying  the  glad  tidings.  The 
terrible  suspense  and  dread  of  Indians  were  now  past  and  soon 
gave  way  to  thanksgiving  and  rejoicing  over  the  brilliant  success 
of  the  American  naval  forces  on  Lake  Erie."1  The  church  in  the 
woods  at  Sharon  observed  the  2d  of  December,  that  year,  as  a  day 
of  thanksgiving  and  prayer. 

On  the  i4th  of  July,  1818,  Sergeant  Higley  received  a  com- 
mission as  lieutenant,  and  having  signalized  himself  by  military 
ability,  he  was  on  the  icth  of  July,  1816,  commissioned  captain" 
of  the  2d  Company,  2d  Regiment,  ist  Battalion.  This  com- 
mission was  issued  from  Chillicothe,  which  was  then  the  capital  of 
the  State  of  Ohio.  On  the  23d  of  September,  1819,  he  received  a 
promotion,  issued  by  Governor  Ethan  Allen  Brown,  to  the  rank  of 
lieutenant-colonel  of  the  ist  Regiment,  3d  Brigade,  4th  Division. 

The  date  when  he  rose  to  the  rank  of  colonel  by  his  successive 
promotions  does  not  appear  among  his  papers.  He  served  with 
devotion  in  the  Ohio  militia  after  the  war  closed,  till  August  9, 
1820,  when,  at  his  own  request,  he  was  officially  and  honorably 
"discharged  from  further  military  duty." 

On  the  2d  of  June,  1816,  Colonel  Higley  "raised  "  a  barn,  one 
of  the  first  frame  buildings  erected  in  the  township.  Two  years 
later,  the  3d  of  September,  he  raised  a  substantially  built  frame 
dwelling-house,  which  was  painted  in  1821.  These  buildings, 
together  with  a  wood-house  and  a  "cow  house"  built  in  1823, 
are  still  in  a  good  state  of  preservation  (1895).  In  1826  he  built 
a  cider-mill. 

In  1824  a  census  was  taken,  showing  that  the  colony  had 
increased  to  eighty-three  families,  comprising  "467  souls."  The 

1 "  History  of  Portage  County,  Ohio,"  p.  281. 

8  The  following  copy  of  Colonel  Higley's  old  mustqr-roll,  preserved  among  his  papers,  bears  much 
of  interest,  the  names  of  his  company  being  the  familiar  names  of  the  first  settlers  of  the  town- 
ship, whose  descendants  are  now  its  leading  citizens. 


"Capt.  Benj.  Higley.  "Sergeants     Hiram  Messenger. 

"  Lieut.  John  Messenger.  James  Seley. 

"  Ensign  John  Streator.  "  Corporals     Erastus  Snow. 

Joseph  Southworth. 
"  Music,  EH  Case. 


"Elijah  Alford  Junr.,  Oliver  Alford,  Gideon  Bush,  Joel  Bradford,  Levi  Alford,  Thatcher  F. 
Conant,  Jacob  Earl,  Joseph  Earl,  Jonathan  Foote,  Robt.  M.  Gondon,  Joseph  Higley,  Aaron  P. 
Jagger,  Daniel  Jagger,  Thomas  Lee,  Thomas  M.  Seymour,  Ebenezer  O.  Messenger,  Nathan  H. 
Messenger,  Benoni  Y.  Messenger,  Ephraim  H.  Seeley,  Stillman  Scott,  Albion  Taylor,  Joshua 
Waldon,  Nathaniel  Rudd,  Albion  Taylor,  Isaac  Clark,  John  Condor,  Benj.  Roth,  Alpheus  C. 
Munsell,  and  others. 
"  Stillman  Scott  defishanl  in  all  but  a  musket.  Joshua  Walden  defishant  in  all  but  a  Rifle." 


readers  of  the  Bible  and  Testament  were  carefully  and  separately 
numbered.  Colonel  Benjamin  Higley's  household,  it  appears 
from  the  register,  contained  eight  person,  six  of  whom  could  read 
the  Scriptures.  They  were  the  possessors  of  "  three  whole  Bibles 
and  three  whole  Testaments." 

In  1819  an  element  of  dissatisfaction  arose  in  the  church  with 
Colonel  Higley's  views  upon  the  subject  of  the  Trinity.  He  was 
a  thorough  trinitarian,  but,  expressing  himself  concerning  the 
"Three  in  One"  in  language  somewhat  different  from  that 
generally  used  in  his  time,  the  minister  of  the  church,  with  a 
handful  of  followers,  standing  rigidly  upon  the  old  Puritan  plat- 
form, and  taking  up  the  hair-splitting  point,  inflamed  themselves 
with  the  idea  that  Colonel  Higley  was  ''embracing  heresy." 

We  do  not  hesitate  to  declare  that  in  these  times  of  greater 
toleration  of  religious  ideas,  and  a  more  liberal  policy  of  the 
Church  at  large  in  platforms  of  beliefs,  the  question  would  be 
deemed  unworthy  of  notice.  There  is  no  evidence  that  Colonel 
Higley  ever  undertook  to  advocate  a  doctrine  at  variance  with 
the  Westminster  Catechism,  or  that  he  did  more  than  to  state 
his  cogitations  in  quiet  casual  conversations  with  his  familiar 
friends,  yet  the  arbitrary  and  vigilant  minister  felt  willingly 
bound  to  enter  charges. 

Being  an  emphatic  man  of  his  sort,  and  tenacious  of  holding  the 
sacred  rights  to  his  own  convictions,  Colonel  Higley  would  not 
recant.  The  carefully  kept  records  show  him  all  through  the 
difficulty  to  have  been  amiable  toward  the  church,  his  tone  being 
peaceable  and  without  enmity,  and  assuming  the  policy  of  silence 
as  far  as  he  could. 

In  March  of  the  following  year,  1820,  after  having  been  sus- 
pended from  church  fellowship  for  a  few  months,  he  stated  to 
its  official  body  his  regret  that  "he  had  indulged  in  such  reason- 
ings, and  made  use  of  language  concerning  this  incomprehensible 
distinction  of  Persons  in  the  glorious  Trinity  as  had  been  calcu- 
lated to  lead  the  mind  into  perplexity  and  had  excited  the  feelings 
of  the  brethern  ";  at  the  same  time  avowing  his  belief  in  the  doc- 
trine of  the  Trinity  as  expressed  in  the  "Confession  of  Faith." 
This  acknowledgment  was  accepted  by  the  church  as  satisfactory. 

This  ecclesiastical  struggle,  together  with  the  character  and 
ability  he  evidenced,  made  a  marked  impression  upon  the  church; 
but  the  state  of  religion  stood  at  a  low  ebb  that  year,  and  there 
was  much  feeling  engendered  which  did  not  wear  away.  The 


result  was  that  in  the  spring  of  1820  a  number  of  prominent 
families  retired  from  the  communion.  And  Colonel  Higley, 
after  a  time,  withdrew  for  a  number  of  years,  attending  worship 
with  a  small  body  of  believers  at  Newton  Falls  and  Garrettsville. 
Among  his  private  papers  is  found  a  church  letter  in  the  hand- 
writing, and  over  the  personal  signature,  of  the  Rev.  Joseph 
Treat,  pastor  of  the  church,  under  date  May  2,  1824,  stating: 

"  This  may  certify  that  Benjamin  Higley  is  a  member  of  the  church  of  Christ 
in  Windham,  Portage  County,  O.,  in  good  and  regular  standing  ;  and  as  such  he  is 
entitled  to  the  attention  and  esteem  of  the  followers  of  the  Lamb." 

The  letter,  however,  is  not  upon  record;  the  "brethern" 
evidently  desiring  to  re-establish  fraternal  relations  with  so 
earnest  and  valuable  a  man,  did  not  consent  to  his  withdrawal. 
A  month  later  the  church  appointed  him  the  assistant  superin- 
tendent of  the  Sabbath  school. 

But  the  wound  was  not  healed,  nor  the  difference  cordially 
settled.  Later  on,  1831,  he  united  with  a  body  of  Christians 
known  as  "Seceders,"  and  aided  in  erecting  a  church  for  this 
sect.  In  this  connection  he  remained  fourteen  years. 

The  day  came  when  the  zealous  young  minister  of  the  First 
Congregation  Church  was  deposed  from  his  place  by  request  of 
the  congregation;  the  church  passed  through  different  stages, 
during  which  its  spiritual  and  financial  condition  were  often  at 
a  very  low  state.  But  time  is  a  conciliator  and  time  brings  to  pass, 

"  The  ringing  grooves  of  change." 

On  the  25th  of  January,  1845,  Colonel  Benjamin  Higley,  Elijah 
Alford,  William  C.  Adams,  John  Larkin  Higley,  and  their  wives, 
with  four  other  persons,  were  cordially  welcomed  into  the  mem- 
bership of  the  old  church  home  which  Colonel  Higley,  with  his 
associates,  had  founded  and  nursed  in  its  infancy,  the  rules  being 
suspended  in  order  that  they  might  be  admitted  the  same  day 
that  their  names  were  presented. 

Colonel  Benjamin  Higley  loved  music.  It  was  a  happy  factor 
in  his  useful  life,  and  in  this  direction  he  made  himself  of  special 
service  to  the  church  he  loved.  He  studied  the  improvement  of 
the  choir,  planned  to  have  its  members  attend  musical  gatherings, 
and  encouraged  them  in  various  ways. 

Among  the  projects  which  his  music-loving  spirit  conjectured, 
and  which  was  carried  out,  was  the  presentation  in  February, 


1852,  of  a  church  pipe  organ — an  excellent  instrument,  in  the 
cost  of  which  he  was  joined  by  Dillingham  Clark,  Warren  W. 
Hinman,  and  Daniel  Jagger.  A  graceful  acknowledgment  of  the 
handsome  gift  is  spread  upon  the  church  records. 

At  the  semi-centennial  celebration  of  the  settlement  of  Wind- 
ham  township,  he  was  in  request  to  represent  the  musical  aspect 
of  the  occasion.  Although  he  had  passed  his  four-score  years,  he 
served  with  successful  endeavor  as  chairman  of  the  committee 
for  arranging  an  old  folks'  concert.  As  a  matter  of  course  old 
time  music  was  revived,  and  the  breezes  were  filled  with  airs  of 
"ye  olden  days." 

One  of  the  most  touching  of  his  efforts  at  vocal  music  occurred 
at  the  first  Sabbath  service  in  May,  1864,  following  the  departure 
of  the  volunteer  soldiers  of  the  village  to  the  Civil  War.  It  was 
a  time  of  anxiety  and  sadness.  Forty-five  noble,  strong  men, 
accustomed  to  attend  worship,  were  missing  from  the  congrega- 
tion; there  was  but  one  male  voice  left  in  the  choir.  Julia 
Higley — Colonel  Higley's  married  granddaughter — sang  bass. 
Colonel  Higley's  indomitable  spirit  suggested  taking  the  part  of 
the  absent  ones.  There  was  something  strangely  pathetic  in  the 
sight  of  his  venerable  form,  crowned  with  the  impress  of  eighty- 
five  years,  his  fine  brow  touched  with  the  halo  of  life's  setting 
sun,  when  he  arose,  and,  leaving  his  accustomed  seat,  he  marched 
up  the  aisle  with  his  bared  head  erect,  and  entering  the  choir, 
joined  in  with  the  organ  as  it  pealed  out  its  solemn  tones. 
There  was  telling  eloquence  in  the  old  man's  eager  act  and  in- 
spired manner,  if  there  was  inharmony  in  the  quavering  notes  of 
his  voice  as  he  struck  into  the  music,  which  brought  tears,  befit- 
ting the  occasion,  to  more  than  one  cheek  of  those  who  turned  to 
gaze  at  him  and  listen. 

In  the  early  days  of  his  pioneer  life  in  Ohio,  Colonel  Higley 
regularly  set  apart  the  months  of  November  and  December  of  each 
year  for  the  hunt.  He  thoroughly  enjoyed  this  agreeable  pastime. 
But  he  made  his  enthusiastic  fun  pay;  settling  his  annual  tax  bills 
for  a  number  of  years  with  the  proceeds  of  the  skins  and  furs  which 
he  collected.  The  spicy  narratives  of  these  wild  and  exciting 
adventures  were  a  characteristic  features  of  his  extreme  old  age. ! 

1  One  morning  in  the  late  autumn  of  1815,  Colonel  Higley  and  his  adopted  son,  Eli  Case,  muffled 
to  their  noses  in  deer-skin  caps,  which  were  pulled  over  their  ears,  set  out  hunting.  It  was  a  misty 
day,  a  light  rain  falling  at  intervals.  On  nearing  a  swamp  in  the  woods  a  half  a  mile  from  his 
house  (on  lot  17),  they  separated  from  each  other,  Colonel  Higley  sending  Case  to  steal  around  to  a 
certain  spot  to  see  if  he  could  get  a  shot. 

All  at  once  the  rustling  of  bushes  told  Higley's  alert  ears  that  something  was  happening.    Case's 


Sally  McKown,  his  wife,  was  his  affectionate  and  faithful  com- 
panion throughout  their  united  lives.  Her  kindly  heart  and  true 
open-handed  hospitality  multiplied  her  opportunities  for  serving. 
The  door  of  their  hospitable  home  was  always  cordially  open  to 
the  stranger.  She  was  found  at  the  bedside  of  the  sick  by  night 
and  by  day,  and  if  distress  entered  the  home  of  a  neighbor  she 
was  there. 

Like  all  pioneer  women  it  was  her  lot  to  work,  work,  work, 
from  early  Monday  morning  till  late  Saturday  night,  with  Sunday 
scarcely  excepted.  Her  household  duties  were  legion.  She 
spun,  wove,  and  dyed,  cut  and  made  all  the  garments  worn  by 
the  entire  family,  nine  in  number.  She  also  manufactured  the 
skins  of  the  deer  which  her  husband  killed  in  hunting  into  gloves 
and  mittens,  and  became  such  an  adept  in  the  business  that  for 
many  years  she  was  called  upon  to  make  all  of  the  wedding- 
gloves  worn  by  the  young  bridegrooms  of  Sharon  and  the 
adjacent  settlements.  These  she  cut  by  a  pattern.  The  leather 
was  used  in  its  natural  color.  With  the  proceeds  of  her  glove 
industry  was  purchased,  at  the  distant  stores  of  merchandise  at 
Ravenna  and  Pittsburg,  all  of  the  wares  and  notions  which  were  used 
by  the  family  during  their  first  ten  years  in  the  Ohio  wilderness. 

gun  went — Bang !  Colonel  Higley  with  his  gun  in  hand  hurried  to  the  spot.  Case  had  surprised 
a  big  black  bear  which  was  feeding  among  the  limbs  of  a  fallen  tree  in  the  shadows  of  the  thicket. 
Stepping  back  about  three  paces  he  fired,  the  ball  entering  the  bear's  head  below  the  ears  and  com- 
ing out  at  the  nose,  tumbling  it  over,  but  not  killing  it.  The  beast  was  soon  on  his  feet,  running 
round  and  round  in  a  circle.  Higley  quickly  raised  his  gun  to  his  shoulder  and  fired,  but  missed 
his  aim.  They  both  hastily  loaded,  but  this  time  their  triggers  clinked,  and  their  old  flint-locks 
flashed  in  the  pan  ;  their  guns  were  wet  and  they  could  no  longer  use  them.  The  bear  was  badly 
wounded  and  angry.  Knowing  there  was  serious  danger  at  hand,  the  two  men  yelled  for  the 
Streator  brothers,  who  were  fitting  up  an  addition  to  their  log  house  a  quarter  of  a  mile  away,  who 
came  with  axes  and  clubs,  and  all  gave  chase,  the  bear  now  making  off  toward  the  swamp,  having 
recovered  himself  enough  to  move  as  rapidly  as  a  man  could  easily  run. 

While  he  was  crossing  a  little  creek  on  a  fallen  log,  the  men  with  their  clubs  tried  to  knock  him 
off,  but  could  not.  On  bruin  ran.  He  had  just  reached  the  swamp  when  Alvin  Streator  struck 
him  with  an  ax,  which  infuriated  him  even  more  than  before,  and  the  brute  showed  fight.  Alvan 
ran  and  the  bear  after  him.  It  was  a  blood-curdling  moment.  Colonel  Higley,  Case,  and  John 
Streater  hotly  pursuing,  the  latter  dashed  forward  with  his  ax  meaning  to  deal  a  blow  upon  the 
bear's  head,  but  his  ax  glanced  as  he  struck,  and  the  beast  whirled  and  grabbed  it,  and  raising  upon 
his  haunches,  he  hugged  it.  Streator,  losing  his  balance  by  the  impetus  of  quick  motion,  landed  in 
the  quagmire,  sinking  above  his  knees  and  losing  one  shoe,  which  the  old  men  of  the  neighborhood 
still  declare  "  is  there  yet."  It  was  only  by  superhuman  exertion  that  he  managed  to  scramble  out 
of  reach  of  his  enraged  antagonist. 

Just  then,  as  the  bear  was  turning  on  to  the  other  men,  a  sway  of  Colonel  Higley's  club,  with  a 
terrific  blow  across  the  nose,  brought  him  to  the  ground  and  he  lay  dead  at  their  feet. 

On  skinning  the  animal  it  was  found  that  the  layer  of  fat  upon  its  back  was  nearly  four  inches  in 
thickness,  which,  together  with  the  thick  hair,  had  most  effectually  warded  off  the  blows  from 

^L  - 

the  axes. 

The  bear  was  allowed  for  the  present  to  lie  where  he  fell  until  the  next  day,  when  Mr.  Cas« 
killed  a  deer  near  by.     So  they  had  a  deer  and  a  bear  to  take  home. 


These  employments  of  her  busy  fingers  were  performed  in 
addition  to  the  usual  household  duties — cooking,  washing,  and 
ironing,  hominy,  soap,  and  cheese  making.  The  manufacture  of 
cheese  was  an  almost  universal  industry  among  the  well-to-do 
and  progressive  farmers  of  the  Western  Reserve  from  early  in 
the  century.  Butter  and  cheese  were  the  chief  products  of  the 
Higley  farm  for  many  years.  Mrs.  Higley's  fame  in  these  arts 
extended  far  beyond  the  township  boundaries. 

She  was  also  careful  each  year  to  dry  native  plants  to  be  used 
in  case  of  family  ailments.  Every  mother  of  a  household  in 
those  times  had  certain  specifics  for  every  malady  that  came  to 
her  family.  It  was  many  years  before  physicians  were  called 
upon, — indeed,  there  were  few  in  that  part  of  the  country,  and 
apothecaries  were  not  known. 

Mrs.  Sally  Higley  was  stricken  by  paralysis,  which  greatly 
enfeebled  her,  a  few  weeks  before  her  final  demise.  Her  decease 
took  place  October  2,  1849. 

To  enter  the  beginnings  of  a  State,  when  everything  was  rude 
and  wild,  and  share  the  labors  and  responsibilities  in  laying  the 
foundations  of  any  of  its  parts  is  no  ordinary  place  to  have  occu- 
pied in  this  life. 

Although  never  desiring  political  preferment,  Colonel  Benjamin 
Higley,  in  the  full  spirit  of  zeal  for  the  public  good,  did  his  part 
in  the  essential  and  steady  work  of  whatever  would  advance  the 
interests  and  improvement  of  VVindham.  He  filled  almost  every 
office  in  town  matters  into  which  the  townspeople  could  place 

He  devised  the  construction  of  roads  to  render  the  new 
country  accessible,  he  surveyed  lands,  was  repeatedly  appointed 
fence  viewer,  constable,  overseer  of  the  poor,  grand  juror,  and, 
as  the  population  increased,  he  served  in  arranging  and  "  setting 
off "  school  districts,  looked  out  that  schoolhouses  were  built 
and  schools  established,  and  aided  in  building  two  churches;  and, 
indeed,  grappled  with  all  the  measures  which  the  advancement 
and  well-being  of  the  community  demanded. 

Colonel  Benjamin  Higley  was  commanding  in  figure,  erect, 
firm,  and  military  in  his  bearing.  His  individuality  was  strong. 
He  always  bore  a  thoughtful  air.  His  cheerful  and  genial  spirit 
made  him  companionable  to  both  aged  and  young  alike;  children 
were  his  delighted  little  friends,  made  happy  by  listening  to  his 
entertaining  stories  of  adventures  with  the  wild  animals  and 


hunting  exploits  of  early  times,  which  he  never  tired  of  con- 
tributing to  their  amusement.  He  was  square  and  upright  in  his 
dealings,  though  never  behind  in  a  bargain. 

When  well  on  in  years  he  contracted  a  second  marriage  with 
Mrs.  Elizabeth  A.  Perkins,  a  widow,  who  died  April,  1864. 

He  gave  farms  in  the  vicinity  of  Windham  to  each  one  of  his 
sons,  together  with  his  adopted  son,  and  his  only  surviving 

He  outlived  nearly  all  of  his  contemporaries,  sitting  down  in 
his  old  age  in  great  tranquillity,  after  a  long  life  of  prosperity  and 
active  usefulness,  having  followed  with  deep  interest  the  history  of 
events,  and  witnessing  his  noble  State — Ohio — richly  endowed 
with  a  high  state  of  cultivation  and  crowned  with  upward  progress 
and  prosperity. 

He  lived  on  the  same  farm  which  he  carved  out  of  the  wilder- 
ness till  he  entered  his  ninetieth  year,  when  he  peacefully  closed 
his  honored  career,  and  was  "gathered  to  his  fathers."  He  died 
July  4,  1867.  He  was  interred  in  the  Windham  cemetery,  by  the 
side  of  his  first  wife,  Sally  McKown. 

In  the  First  Congregational  Church  at  Windham  an  attractive 
memorial  window  of  stained  glass  has  been  placed  as  a  tribute  of 
honor  to  his  memory;  bearing  the  inscription  : 

Colonel  JBenjamfn 

"  Sure  to  the  last  end 

Of  the  good  man  is  peace  ;  how  calm  his  exit ! 
Night  dews  fall  not  more  gently  to  the  ground, 
Nor  weary  worn  out  winds  expire  so  soft. 

Behold  him  in  the  evening-tide  of  life — 
A  life  well  spent,  whose  early  care  it  was 
His  riper  years  should  not  upbraid  his  green  ; 
By  unperceived  degrees  he  wears  away, 
Yet,  like  the  sun,  seems  larger  at  his  setting. " 

The  children  of  Colonel  Benjamin  and  Sally  McKown  Higley 
were  as  follows  : 

Robert  M.,  born  February  12,  1804;  Benjamin  £.,  born  April 
25,  1807,  died  September  15,  1826;  Lorin,  born  February  2,  1810; 
Matthew  P.,  born  September  12,  1813;  Sarah  Ann,  born  January 
19,  1819;  Hannah  Z.,born  January  2,  1820,  accidentally  drowned 
July  12,  1824;  Alfred J/.,  born  December  12,  1822. 



"We  plow  the  deep,  and  reap  what  others  sow." 

ROBERT  McKowN  HIGLEY,  the  eldest  son  of  Colonel  Benja- 
min and  Sally  McKown  Higley,  was  born  in  Becket,  Mass., 
February  12,  1804,  and  baptized  September  20,  1807.  He  came 
to  Windham,  O.,  with  his  parents  in  1811.  His  early  years  were 
spent  working  upon  his  father's  farm,  learning  the  first  lessons  of 
the  privations  and  toils  of  a  pioneer  life.  After  a  school  had  been 
established,  he  attended  it  during  the  winter  months.  When 
about  nineteen  he  one  day  met  with  an  accident,  dislocating  his 
hip,  causing  a  lameness  which  affected  him  the  remainder  of  his 
life.  After  this  he  made  an  education  his  chief  aim,  attending 
the  school  at  Warren,  O.,  and  finally  was  fitted  for  a  successful 
instructor.  He  taught  steadily  six  years. 

He  married  Lydia  Mary,  daughter  of  Thatcher  Conant,  Sr., 
November,  1831.  She  was  born  April  23,  1808.  They  took  pos- 
session of  a  farm  given  him  by  his  father.  He  afterward  entered 
into  partnership  with  his  brother-in-law,  William  C.  Adams, 
pursuing  a  mercantile  business,  and  while  thus  engaged  made 
frequent  journeys  with  teams,  then  the  only  method  of  transporta- 
tion, through  sloughs  of  mud  and  over  corduroy  roads,  to  Cleve- 
land, Pittsburg,  and  Wellsville,  on  the  Ohio  River,  to  which 
places  he  took  the  various  products  of  the  farms,  exchanging 
them  for  such  staple  goods  as  the  needs  of  the  frontiersman 
required.  They  could  afford  no  luxuries  in  those  times. 

January,  1835,  became  a  way-mark  in  the  family  story  by  the 
husband  and  wife  together  -making  public  profession  of  religion, 
uniting  with  the  Congregational  Church  in  Windham,  of  which 
they  remained  consistent  and  esteemed  members  while  they 

For  many  years  Robert  M.  Higley  was  a  very  active  man  in 
the  public  interests  of  the  town.  Among  many  other  public  ser- 
vices rendered  acceptably  to  the  inhabitants,  he  filled  the  office 


of  justice  of  the  peace  for  twenty-one  years,  and  was  always 
known  as  "  Esquire  "  Higley  afterward. 

The  last  years  of  his  life  were  pathetically  spent.  Varied 
trials  combined  to  weigh  down  his  spirits,  and  his  mind  became 
clouded.  For  a  period  of  more  than  twenty  years  he  was  to  a 
great  extent  deprived  of  the  ordinary  scenes  and  associations 
that  make  life  desirable,  remaining  in  seclusion  in  his  own  home, 
under  the  faithful  and  affectionate  care  and  attentions  of  his 
daughter,  Mrs.  Mary  E.  Goodrich.  He  passed  peacefully  -away 
in  his  home  at  Windham,  on  a  Sabbath  morning,  August  3,  1890, 
in  the  eighty-seventh  year  of  his  age. 

The  decease  of  his  wife  took  place  many  years  before,  her 
health  having  declined  by  consumption.  She  died  June  20,  1853. 

Robert  M.  and  Lydia  Conant  Higley  were  the  parents  of  five 
children,  viz. : 

Edward  B.;  Sarah  E.;  Mary  E.;  Lydia  ^.,'born  March  10, 
1841,  and  died  July  2,  1845;  Rosaline  E.,  born  November  9,  1847, 
who  married,  July  26,.  1870,  George  W.  Finley,  and  died  August 
16,  1875.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Finley  resided  in  Lawrence,  Kans.  She 
left  no  children. 

EDWARD  B.  HIGLEY,  the  eldest  child  of  Robert  M.  and  Lydia 
Conant  Higley,  was  born  at  Windham,  O.,  October  24,  1832.  At 
an  early  age  he  attended  the  Windham  district  school,  after- 
ward entering  the  Windham  Academy.  From  the  age  of  twelve 
he  devoted  a  part  of  his  time  gaining  experience  by  clerkship  in 
a  store  of  general  merchandise.  At  twenty-one  he  established 
a  mercantile  house  for  himself,  connecting  with  it  the  sale  and 
shipping  of  dairy  and  farm  products,  which  he  continued  for 
twenty-eight  years  in  his  native  town. 

On  the  7th  of  November,  1853,  he  married  Julia  M.,  daughter 
of  Isaac  M.  Clark  of  Windham,  an  old  schoolmate.  In  the 
spring  of  1882  they  removed  to  Mason  City,  la.,  where  Mr. 
Higley  now  conducts  an  extensive  wholesale  and  shipping  busi- 
ness in  poultry,  butter,  and  eggs,  with  branch  houses  at  Spencer, 
la.,  and  in  South  Dakota.  "The  enterprising  house  of  E.  B. 
Higley  at  Mason  City  is  one  of  the  points  west  of  Chicago  which 
consolidates  and  sends  to  the  Eastern  seaboard  cities  a  fast  stock- 
train,  laden  entirely  with  the  products  in  which  it  deals."  His 
beautiful  suburban  residence,  "  Farm  Home,"  at  Spencer,  where 
he  resides,  is  one  of  the  most  attractive  and  desirable  pieces  of 
property  in  the  township. 



His  wife,  Julia  M.  Higley,  died  at  "  Farm  Home,"  December 
10,  1893.  Her  body  was  brought  eastward  and  interred  in  the 
family  burial  lot  at  her  native  town,  Windham,  O.,  on  the  i7th, 
the  funeral  services  being  held  in  the  Congregational  Church, 
of  which  she  became  a  member  in  February,  1856.  The  following 
extracts  are  from  a  sketch  of  her  life  which  was  then  presented: 

"  Julia  M.  Clark  Higley,  born  in  Windham  on  the  2Oth  of  June,  1833,  the 
oldest  child  of  Isaac  M.  and  Sarah  (Frary)  Clark,  was  one  of  a  family  of  seven 
children.  Her  early  school  advantages  in  the  old  academy  of  Windham  gave  her 
intellectual  culture,  and  nearly  two  years  of  earnest  study  enabled  her  to  complete 
the  preparatory  course  at  Oberlin,  and  fitted  her  for  entering  the  regular  college 
course  in  that  institution,  but  her  cherished  hopes  of  a  thorough  education  were 
blighted  by  financial  reverses  in  her  father's  family.  On  the  7th  of  November, 
1853,  she  married  Edward  B.  Higley,  and  in  that  relation  they  passed  along  life's 
journey  together,  mutually  sharing  their  joys  and  trials  for  forty  years.  In  intel- 
lectual and  literary  pursuits  she  took  a  deep  interest,  and,  from  her  youthful  days 
until  her  later  years,  was  ready  to  lead  or  assist  in  temperance,  literary,  and  social 
entertainments  in  aid  of  enterprises  for  the  good  of  others. 

"  During  the  war  clouds  of  the  Rebellion  her  voice  and  musical  talents  were 
prominent  in  a  glee  club  of  this  place,  which  gave  admirable  concerts,  the  avails 
of  which  were  given  to  aid  in  furnishing  supplies  for  the  hospitals  and  the  suffering 
soldiers.  In  her  later  years  she  read  the  four  years'  course  laid  out  by  the  Chau- 
tauqua  Literary  and  Scientific  Association,  and  was  a  leading  active  member  of  the 
large  Chautauqua  class  at  Spencer,  la. ,  at  the  time  of  her  death.  In  horticultural 
and  floral  subjects  she  was  full  of  enthusiasm,  and  the  plants  she  cultivated  and 
the  fruits  she  matured  about  her  home  were  the  admiration  of  her  neighbors.  The 
pleasure  of  watching  the  beauties  of  the  opening  flowers  and  their  exquisite  color- 
ings led  her  heart  to  adore  the  power  and  goodness  of  the  Creator,  in  thus  bestow-